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Müller & Schweinsteiger

Early-season sparkle from Germany stars

Most of Bayern’s World Cup participants had less than three weeks to gear up for the new domestic and European season, but just two matches into the campaign, a lot has clicked into place for the Munich giants. A measure of the double winners’ strength in depth is that their six goals so far have come from six different players. In many respects, the Bavarians have picked up exactly where they left off last term.

In the Bundesliga opener against Wolfsburg, the FCB men who made the difference were among those hardly expected to find form so soon: Thomas Müller and Bastian Schweinsteiger, Germany’s outstanding pair at the summer World Cup, scored the goals in the champions’ narrow 2-1 victory over the Wolves, ensuring a perfect start to the new title quest.

Last-gasp winner

“Scoring the goals isn’t my job, but I should be getting one or two every now and then,” said Schweinsteiger after sliding home the stoppage-time winner. “I had a lot of bad luck with shots against the post and bar last season,” the 26-year-old observed. “I hope I score a little more regularly this year, but what really mattered today was the three points.”

“It was difficult for Schweinsteiger, it was a very good goal,” commented Louis van Gaal. “I still lack fitness,” the player countered, “your body tells you when you’re not at 100 percent yet. But it’s normal.” The other World Cup participants also struggled at times in the second half, “when we were poor and handed them chances on a plate. We have to do better than that.”

Great season in prospect

The midfielder’s last-gasp effort was all the more impressive given the pain barrier he had to break. “There was a similar cross ten minutes earlier, but I didn’t continue my run, other wise I might have scored before the dying seconds,” the Germany star reflected. Christian Nerlinger sees a productive few months ahead for the player: “I think he’ll have a great season now,” the director of sport noted.