Free-scoring start for Thomas Müller
Three games, three wins, ten goals scored and only one conceded: Bayern have made an optimal start to the new Bundesliga season. One of the main contributors to FCB's perfect getaway with the maximum possible nine points is Thomas Müller. The Germany sharpshooter scored twice in Saturday's 3-0 victory over Bayer Leverkusen, taking his tally for the campaign so far up to five. The last Munich star to score as many in the first three matches was Roy Makaay back in 2005/06.
"It's my best start yet in terms of goals scored," enthused the 25-year-old, who made his 200th Bundesliga appearance against Leverkusen and is now up to 76 top flight goals. Müller scored twice or more in a Bundesliga match for the 15th time and is now 12th on the club's all-time scorer charts. Just ahead of him on 77 is Claudio Pizarro, who was thanked and sent on his way with the club's best wishes by Karl-Heinz Rummenigge on Saturday.
"Thomas is important to us, as we've always said. He's risen up the hierarchy and is one of our leaders," said sporting director Matthias Sammer of the Bavarian native who joined FC Bayern at the age of ten. "It's typical of him. He instinctively goes for goal, he works hard for the team, he battles away," keeper and fellow World Cup winner Manuel Neuer stated.
Costa's three assists
Müller was more interested in the team performance than his personal haul. "I'll enjoy this moment, but the most important thing is that we win as a team," said the two-goal hero, who actually passed up the chance of a third by standing down in favour of Arjen Robben when Bayern were awarded a second penalty of the match on 71 minutes. "I'm a team player and I want the atmosphere to remain good," Müller smiled after his Dutch colleague opened his own account for the season.
A number of factors explain Müller's best-ever start to a campaign. On the one hand, he benefited from a long summer vacation for the first time in many years. Müller resumed training right at the start on 1 July and has steadily approached peak form ever since. On the other hand, Bayern's slightly amended tactical set-up this term has seen the player spend more time in danger areas in front of goal.
Last but not least, the striker is a major beneficiary from newcomer Douglas Costa, provider of the assist for three of Müller's five goals. "Obviously he's amazingly energetic," Thomas observed in the wake of the 5-0 opening day victory over Hamburg. "He's very good at doing his bit for the team and I hope he keeps it up." Müller's personal best for a season stands at 13 goals, and although these are still early days, everything points to him beating that benchmark this time.