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Mario’s Christmas cracker

Hat-trick hero Gomez in the form of his life

Mario Gomez made 121 Bundesliga appearances for VfB Stuttgart between 2001 and 2009, half of them at the Mercedes-Benz Arena. “So he knows where they put the goalposts here,” as Andreas Ottl grinned. In the final league fixture before Christmas, Gomez cracked in three goals for Bayern against his former club, and added an assist for good measure.

“I’m very pleased with him,” Louis van Gaal enthused afterwards, “he’s been unbelievably good throughout the first half of the season.” Gomez has 19 goals in 23 appearances so far, with an outstanding 18 in his last 15 outings, including hat-tricks against Hannover, Cluj and Stuttgart. It is the striker’s best ever total at the midpoint of a season.

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