Barça bogeyman Müller strikes again
Müller does it again: Thomas Müller is Barça’s bogeyman once more and was named man of the match after FC Bayern's sensational 8-2 routing of European giants Barcelona. Much like in the semi-final clash between the two sides in the 2012/13 treble winning season, the 30-year-old set the team on course for victory early on.
Müller scores in milestone game
Following a pass from Robert Lewandowski after just four minutes, the striker opened the scoring for the Munich team in his 113th Champions League match, the goal due reward for Müller’s presence in what was a milestone game for the Bayern player. No other German player has made more appearances in Europe’s elite competition than the man from Upper Bavaria; and the 2014 World Cup winner is still far from being done. "For me it’s [the record] a stepping-stone. I hope to play in the Champions League for a few more years," Müller said ahead of the match.
FCB focus on season goals
The result underlined how the club and its players are still very much focused on their progress in the top competition this season. After the short-lived equaliser via an own goal from David Alaba (7’), the team from Munich really turned up the heat. Müller's second goal of the day to make it 4-1 at the break after a sharp cross from Joshua Kimmich after just 31 minutes of play was an early indication as to which team was making the final four, even before the half-time whistle had been blown.
Barça-bogeyman meets favourite opponents
His second goal against his favourite opponents was not only the goal that allowed Bayern to have one foot in the semi-finals, but it was also his sixth goal against Barcelona - no other player has scored more against the Catalans in the Champions League and Müller himself has not been more successful against any other opponent. With the assist for Philippe Coutinho's goal to make it 7-2 five minutes from time, the Barca nightmare made sure of his man of the match award, and, according to coach Hansi Flick, he deserved it: "He is a model for us in the pressing game, he does that brilliantly.”
Ronaldo, Messi, Müller - nobody scores more often
The goals to make it 1-0 and 4-1 were Müller's 22nd and 23rd goals in the knockout stages of the Champions League. Only Christiano Ronaldo (67) and Lionel Messi (47), (the latter of whom went away empty-handed against FCB as he did in 2013), have scored more. The joy exuding from him after his strong performance and the more-than-convincing performance of the team was obvious to all who listened to the Barca bogeyman after the game:
"This was certainly a very special evening, the result alone and the way it felt on the pitch was something very special," said Müller. “Actually, the best thing is to see that the players who are substitutes are able to make the same impact and have the same attitude.”
Müller and Co. intend to continue demonstrating their outstanding form in the semi-finals next Wednesday.
Check out here out how FC Bayern are preparing for the semi-finals of the Champions League: