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Best present of them all

Birthday boy Robben nets world-class winner

Birthday boy Arjen Robben handed himself the best present of them all on Saturday with a world-class winning goal to seal Bayern’s 3-2 victory over Werder Bremen. The Dutchman’s 78th-minute direct free-kick was the icing on the cake of an outstanding performance to mark his 26th birthday. However, despite his side’s eighth win on the bounce in all competitions, Arjen was still not entirely satisfied afterwards.

“With all due respect to Werder, we could have scored ten today. We created loads of clear-cut chances, but we failed to take them. I was guilty in that respect myself,” Robben criticised. However, he finished with a quip: “In fact, I could have overtaken Stefan Kießling in the goalscoring chart.” The Leverkusen striker is the league’s top scorer on 12 goals, whereas Robben has five to his name so far.

The fact it took until 12 minutes from time for Robben to net his fifth of term was not for want of trying. The pacy wide player might have opened the scoring on just three minutes, but hit the post with only Werder keeper Tim Wiese to beat. He failed to convert two further excellent chances either side of half-time. “Sometimes the easy ones just won’t go in – and the most difficult one does,” the birthday boy mused.