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Crucial openers

Match-winner Müller sets new personal best

A Bayern side depleted by injuries summoned up their last remaining energy and bowed out for the first half of the 2015/16 campaign with a tight but deserved 1-0 victory away to Hannover at the weekend. The German champions head into the winter break on the back of another win and now lead the Bundesliga by a comfortable eight points, ensuring a happy holiday season for everyone associated with the club.

Yet again, Thomas Müller was the leading actor in the drama in Lower Saxony. On the day after the Germany international extended his stay at FC Bayern through 2021, he sealed Munich’s 15th league win of term with a 40th-minute penalty. Impressively, FCB have not lost in the Bundesliga when Müller has scored: of the 67 matches in which the Bavarian native has netted at least once, the Reds have won 64 with three draws.

Thomas: The break will do us good

“It’s a nice stat and I’d be delighted to keep it going,” Müller noted. The 26-year-old scored the opening goal for the sixth time this season and is now up to 21 goals in competitive matches this term, equalling his total for the whole of the last campaign. He has achieved the feat in just over half the number of appearances, 26 so far compared to 48 in 2014/15.

Taking the Bundesliga alone, Müller has already beaten his previous best of 13 goals for the season with only 17 of the 34 matches played. His penalty at Hannover took him up to 14 for the campaign, and it is a fair bet he will add to that total in the second half of the season. However, his priority for now is to relax and recuperate over the holidays.

“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want the break,” Thomas admitted after the weekend fixture, “but if we did have a game in a couple of days, I’d play and enjoy it.” And he’d probably score too.