Gnabry and Müller return with 'valuable' part in win vs. Köln
Hansi Flick has often proven he has a knack for the right decisions as a coach. But prompting three goals from the bench, as he did on Saturday in the 5-1 win over 1. FC Köln, certainly doesn't happen every day - and was also due to the fact that the 56-year-old had recently been missing several regulars. "Serge Gnabry and Thomas Müller were very important to us as substitutes today," said Flick after the final whistle. His two super subs weren't ready for a starting eleven place yet after an enforced break from football. But both played a major role in the victory against the men from Cologne with Gnabry bagging a brace and Müller providing a quick-fire assist.
No warm-up needed for Müller
Müller made the first move. Just 32 seconds after coming onto the pitch with Gnabry (64), he set up Robert Lewandowski to make it 3-1. "His first touch was the assist for Lewy. It calmed us down, and that was important for us," analysed Flick, knowing full well that the goal came at a time when Köln had come close to a possible equaliser. But Müller kept a cool head and provided his eleventh assist of the Bundesliga season - the most in the league!
Gnabry successful against Köln again
"When Thomas and I came on, it was a bit tricky for us," remarked super sub Gnabry. "We [The team] hadn't been very sharp or dominant. We tried to lift the tempo and immediately made it 3-1." The tempo remained high late into the game: the 25-year-old attacker scored a brace in the closing stages (82, 86) and wrapped up the perfect comeback against his favourite opponents. For Gnabry, it was his eighth and ninth goals in the Bundesliga in his seventh match against Köln - he hasn't scored as often against any other team.
"We're happy they've both integrated back in so well and we'll see how they get on doing the same in the next few games," continued Flick, who was happy to have the successful returning duo back on board. "Now we have a week to bring them both back into the swing of things again. That's why we're happy everything went so well."
Reaction from players and coaches to the win here: