MUNICH, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 27: Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich celebrates with team mates after scoring their team's third goal during the UEFA Champions League Group E match between FC Bayern Muenchen and SL Benfica at Fussball Arena Muenchen on November 27, 2018 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

Robert Lewandowski passed the 50-goal mark in the Champions League in Bayern Munich’s 5-1 thrashing of Benfica on Tuesday night

The 30-year-old striker brought his goal tally up to 51 strikes in 77 Champions League outings following his brace at Munich.

Lewandowski reached the half-century mark in fewer matches than Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo and Arsenal legend Thierry Henry needed.

The only players to have reached 50 Champions League goals in fewer appearances are ex-Manchester United star Ruud van Nistelrooy (62) and Barcelona icon Lionel Messi (66).

Arjen Robben (twice) and Franck Ribery were the other goalscorers for Bayern as they qualified for a last-16 spot in the competition.

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The big win over Benfica was a welcome boost for manager Niko Kovac, whose future remains in the spotlight.

“Everything worked out for us today,” Kovac told the club website.

“We finally extended a lead, we were very focused – except for the first minute after half-time – and defended well.

“We bypassed the midfield quickly. It was a decent display. The team showed they can do it, and they rewarded themselves for the work they put in.”

Champions League all-time leading scorers

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo – 121
  2. Lionel Messi – 105
  3. Raúl González – 71
  4. Karim Benzema – 59
  5. Ruud van Nistelrooy – 56
  6. Robert Lewandowski – 51
  7. Thierry Henry – 50