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Toni’s maiden strike

Luca off the mark in the Champions League

Luca Toni struck his first Champions League goal on Tuesday – but the big Italian was unable to celebrate with his famous cupped-hand-to-ear gesture. He netted a diving header after 61 minutes of Bayern’s meeting with Steaua Bucharest, but landed awkwardly and was forced to receive treatment as he lay prone in the Romanians’ penalty area.

“Obviously I’d have preferred not to injure myself in the act of scoring,” the 31-year-old told reporters at the Säbener Strasse on Wednesday, “but I’d rather that happened than not score at all.” A day after the clear-cut 3-0 victory over Steaua, the bandages on the player’s left hand and right shoulder testified to his determination and desire to add his name to the scoresheet in Europe’s elite club competition for the first time.

Just as in the last Bundesliga home match against Cottbus, last season’s leading scorer failed to put away a string of decent chances at the start. “I knew I only had to keep trying, and then I’d score,” insisted Toni, who never doubted his destiny as a scorer in Tuesday’s game. “It’s only bad when you have no chances at all. Provided I keep having chances, it’s a very good sign.”