Milestone goal vs. favourite opponents
Thomas Müller: Against Barça, it just kind of clicks
The conditions for Bayern's Champions League match against FC Barcelona were less than ideal, with driving sleet and no spectators. But of course that entirely failed to bother one person in particular: Thomas Müller was hungry for yet more goals against his favourite opponents in Europe's elite club competition - so fired up that he drove his teammates forward right from the start:
The sound of "Make it snappy, make it snappy!" was clearly audible in the Allianz Arena just a few minutes after kick-off. For the man from Bavaria, the team were not moving forward quickly enough in transition. And even if Müller's instructions at that particular moment ultimately did not bear fruit, something seemed to stick with his team-mates. Bayern subsequently played forward with plenty of pace and made sure the 32-year-old grabbed a very special goal.
Milestone goal against Barcelona - but of course!
Müller was in the right place at the right time as a cross from Robert Lewandowski in the 34th minute came his way. He looped the ball home perfectly to open the scoring. It was his 50th goal in the Champions League, eight of which he's scored against Barcelona, the most goals he's scored against a single team. "Against Barça, it just kind of clicks," the scorer remarked after the final whistle, describing in his unique and recognisable way how his goal came about: "I noticed that the ball was up in the air and I couldn't direct it. Then it was just a matter of heading the ball back from where it came, looping it. But it was nice that it went in the way it did. It was, as everyone always says: a Müller goal."
But even that could not satisfy the attacker's hunger. After Leroy Sané's strike to double Bayern's lead (43'), Müller could be heard in the stadium again: "Let's go again for the next one". Again his teammates listened: after the interval, Jamal Musiala (62') increased the lead to 3-0 for the men from Munich. Of course, this positive influence on the team did not go unnoticed by the man in the dugout. "When you have someone who is always coaching and active, the other players are pushed. That's perhaps even more important in a game without fans," explained head coach Julian Nagelsmann, before speaking of Müller as "an important player" for his team.
Still a long way to go
And what's more, Müller is also a particularly successful player: with his milestone goal, Müller climbed to seventh in the all-time goalscoring list in Europe's most important club competition: "50 Champions League goals is quite a number," said FCB's number 25 before following up with a sentence that FCB's rivals should probably see as a threat. "I still have a little way to go. This isn't the end of the road".
Who could Bayern face in the Last 16? Read here: