Home fans hail heroic Müller
When the Bayern fans call for a master of ceremonies at the end of a match, the chances are that something outstanding just happened. On Wednesday night, Thomas Müller duly ignored an attack of cramp and his general exhaustion, made his way over to the south terrace, grabbed a megaphone and led the traditional Humba victory chant.
Subsequently Müller spoke of a "highly emotional, but also energy-sapping" 120-minute encounter with Juventus: "It was a lively battle." 12 bookings, on average one card every ten minutes, show how hard-fought a match it was. The Bayern attack ran up vainly against Juventus' defence for a long time, but after Robert Lewandowski's 73rd-minute goal their comeback gained momentum.
Müller's crucial stoppage-time equaliser made the crowd go wild. Rarely has a leveller been celebrated like this. All his team-mates jumped at Müller, whose goal crowned a heart-stopping closing phase with the yearned-for success. "Our first goal breathed new life into us, the equaliser did the same, and the third one too...," the native Bavarian reasoned.
New record for Thomas
Not only did Müller send the tie into extra-time, he also set a new record. With his 35th goal in Europe's premier club competition, his seventh in the current campaign, he surpassed his namesake Gerd, whose 34 goals greatly contributed to FCB's title hat-trick in the European Cup between 1974 and 1976. His equaliser made the 26-year-old the top German scorer in the competition.
The goal-getter, who has netted 19 times in this season's Bundesliga campaign, patiently waited for success. Eventually he was rewarded. "You have to keep trying," explained Müller, "as a forward you always look for the one moment. Thank God there was one -- and I just put it in."
After the huge effort the Reds now have to regenerate. "I'm more drained than euphoric," revealed Müller, who swiftly turned his focus to the next Bundesliga challenge: "The next game is on Saturday," away to Köln. Thankfully Müller & Co will be spared an additional 30 minutes in the Rhineland. But that does not mean the Germany international would object to another Humba chant should Bayern win.