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Classy finish

Gomez marks return with well-taken goal

After scoring, Mario Gomez had to shake off Bastian Schweinsteiger and swerve his way past a knot of delighted team-mates before reaching his intended destination, the Bayern dugout. Andreas Ottl had risen from the bench and was standing on the touchline, waiting to high-five the Germany international. Only then did Gomez accept the other players’ congratulations on opening the scoring against Bayer Leverkusen.

But why did Gomez run half the length of the pitch to greet Ottl? “Andi said beforehand I was going to score, so I wanted to thank him first,” the striker explained. “Obviously, I’m unbelievably pleased for him,” said the prophet Ottl. “We get on extremely well away from the field of play and occasionally do a few things together.”

Ottl and Gomez have shared the rather less positive experience of watching matches from the dugout of late. Alongside Philipp Lahm, Gomez is in fact the only player to have featured in the squad for all 20 games so far this term, but he has been among the subs for half of them. Between the match on 12 September away to Borussia Dortmund and Sunday’s Leverkusen clash, Gomez only made the Bundesliga starting line-up for the game in late October away to his former club Stuttgart.