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25th league goal

On-target Zé Roberto delivers the goods

Last week, Zé Roberto told weekly journal kicker he was intending to score more often in the second half of the campaign. No sooner said than done: just three days later, the Brazilian notched his third goal of the season with Bayern’s 32nd-minute equaliser in the top of the table clash at home to Werder Bremen.

The strike was important to the 33-year-old star in a number of ways. His 25th goal in 242 Bundesliga appearances earned his side a vital point in the championship race, and three for the campaign so far is already a personal best in a single season when Zé has donned the red shirt of Bayern. Last but by no means least, he scored with his weaker right foot.

Only for driving

“I thought my right foot was only there so I could drive a car,” Zé grinned afterwards in the Allianz Arena mixed zone, after cunningly placing a shot through Werder keeper Tim Wiese’s legs. “But it worked out for me today, and it was a very well-worked goal. I’m extremely pleased.“

The Brazilian was one of Bayern’s best players against Werder, and not just for taking his goalscoring total in Munich up to eight. As strong as ever in terms of commitment and determination in defensive midfield, the man capped 83 times by Brazil stepped up time and again to fill the wide creative role left vacant by the injured Franck Ribéry.

Finisher and provider

Quite apart from his accomplished finish, Ze ended up Bayern’s most frequent threat to the Werder goal alongside Hamit Altintop on five shots, but also turned provider in the 76th minute, serving up an assist which Luca Toni duly converted, only for the Italian to be called back for a harsh offside decision. And in last week’s restart trip to Rostock, Zé Roberto brilliantly laid on Ribéry’s opening strike.

“I’m a bit upset we’ve only drawn. We set out to win the game, but we’ve come up short,” the somewhat disappointed player mused after “a physical battle, where both teams went looking for the three points.“ The task now was “to look to the future,” and the next “tough encounter“ when Bayern visit Aberdeen on Thursday. Zé Roberto must be a good bet for more scorer points when the Reds travel to Scotland.

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