It is not every day that a striker bags five goals in one match, let alone that they achieve the feat in just over an hour.
But Lazio striker Miroslav Klose, who has scored 67 goals for Germany, was inexplicably denied the opportunity of netting an incredible double hat-trick and breaking numerous records as he was cruelly subbed off with 22 minutes still to play.
Coach Vladimir Petkovic not only infuriated the player and the club's supporters, but also every neutral watching the match in anticipation of an extraordinary sixth goal or maybe more from the ruthless marksman.
Klose's extraordinary performance in the 6-0 demolition of Bologna began when the 34-year-old opened the scoring in the 22nd minute. He then proceeded to grab two in three minutes to complete a first-half hat-trick, finishing off a counter-attack and then tapping in at the far post.
The Germany international was allowed a free header from Antonio Candreva's cross as he added a fourth goal early in the second half, and he was again unmarked as he turned in a Sergio Floccari pass just after the hour before Petkovic intervened, introducing former Manchester United and Everton striker Louis Saha in the 68th minute at his expense.
The magnitude of Klose's achievement was clear: prior to the German's effort, the last player to score five goals in a single Serie A game was Roberto Pruzzo for Roma back in 1986. But he was not afforded the opportunity of creating further history.
"If I scored five goals today, it's because of the team," he told Gazzetta dello Sport after being taken off to a standing ovation. "I'm very satisfied with my performance and obviously my goals."
Petkovic, meanwhile, was keen to emphasise the teamwork involved in helping Klose: "We were more clinical and we also put Klose in a position to score those five goals. Congratulations to the team."
- Sports & Recreation
- Miroslav Klose
- Vladimir Petkovic