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Hat-trick that got away

Only one blemish on Mario’s great day out

Mario Gomez had already struck a brace in the derby against Nürnberg, and jumped at the chance to make it a hat-trick. Immediately referee Thorsten Kinhöfer whistled for a penalty, the Germany striker grabbed the ball and confidently stepped up to the mark. He looked focused, he took a short run-up – and he blasted the ball into the crowd. Gomez pulled up his shirt and hid his face in dismay.

He had no real reason to hide: respected journal kicker made him man of the match, and he rates as Bayern’s most improved player of recent weeks, with seven goals in the last five league games, and four in the two Champions League meetings with Cluj. “He’s been very good and very successful recently. It's a wonderful strike rate, and we’re very satisfied with it,” enthused chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.