Created on 08-04-2019 at 17:24 PM
"I've had to wait a long time for my first goal this season." You'd expect a statement like that from a striker, but it actually came from Mats Hummels on Saturday evening. The 30-year-old scored his first goal of the season in Matchday 28's outstanding fixture against Dortmund, extending an impressive run. Since 2008/09, Hummels has scored in the Bundesliga in every season - and that’s as a central defender.
"I thought it might even be my first season in the Bundesliga without a goal! Luckily, that didn't happen," the visibly relieved 2014 world champion added. With the goal, Hummels crowned a strong performance against his former club. With good positional play and excellent tackling, Bayern's number five ensured his team once again kept a clean sheet. In addition, apart from his goal, he impressed with some good work in the Dortmund box.
Superiority in the air evident
Time and again, the five-time German champion popped up at the front, especially at set-pieces, and it was anything but a coincidence that the defensive specialist scored his first goal with his head. "That was actually the firm plan. The ball was supposed to end up there, as was I," the aerial powerhouse explained.
"We practise headers from crosses in training a lot. I'm glad it finally paid off at such an important time," Hummels continued. Scoring with headers is one of Bayern's particular strengths this season, as a glance at the stats shows. The Reds have nodded in 16 times already, and against Dortmund the Bavarians' superiority in the air was once again evident.
In the very first minute Hummels narrowly missed the net with a header from a corner, Thomas Müller was foiled in the 19th minute by the crossbar and in the 31st BVB keeper Roman Bürki made another save on the line from a Hummels header. Serge Gnabry also scored to make it 4-0 shortly afterwards with his head.
The Bavarians aim to continue using this weapon in what is a tight championship race. After winning the direct battle, the record champions now lead the table by one point. "It's a tiny advantage, which we now intend to defend with every means at our disposal," announced Hummels, who of course wants to follow-up his first goal with yet more. This year, the championship will perhaps not only be decided in the head, but also by the head.