- Bayern Munich played Union Berlin on Sunday evening at the Allianz Arena in the Bundesliga
- Thomas Muller started the match and provided two assists as Bayern won the match 3-0
- The veteran midfielder’s current contract expires at the end of the 2023/2024 campaign
Thomas Muller demonstrated that he is still crucial to Bayern Munich by being grateful to have a complete role in the 3-0 thrashing of Union Berlin.
The veteran of Bayern’s midfield proved he still has it in him with two assists, assisting Kingsley Coman and Jamal Musiala on goals.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting scored the game’s first goal, and Bayern led by three goals at the half and had effectively won the match. Musiala’s goal was scored on his 20th birthday, and the victory followed a team get-together during the middle of the week amid a results dilemma.
Joao Cancelo was substituted in by Julian Nagelsmann to bolster Bayern’s defence, and the team ultimately lost 3-2 as the 33-year-old Muller observed helplessly and resentfully at being taken off so early.
“It’s clear that I didn’t enjoy it,” Nagelsman said of that experience on Sunday, looking back.
But Muller stressed it also “wasn’t a huge issue”, telling DAZN after the match: “The coach made the decision and of course every player – including me – always has the feeling that he can give the team something, even if he’s outnumbered, to win a game.
“We want to win a lot and it’s also about everyone accepting tough decisions in the interests of the team and showing the reaction the next day in training – and not showing off in any way.”
This week, the members of the Bayern squad met in the evening, according to head coach Julian Nagelsmann.
As a consequence of their decline in performance, Union Berlin and Borussia Dortmund joined league leaders Bayern on the same point total going into the most recent round of games, raising some doubts about their chances of winning their 11th straight championship.
Bayern, however, brushed Union away with contempt, and when Muller left in the 87th minute for a break, it was with the task accomplished and to cheers. The meeting already appears to have had a beneficial impact.
Dortmund continues to trail Bayern, and the upcoming Klassiker could make a difference in the outcome of the title race, but Bayern showed enough against Union to indicate they are making progress once more.
Bayern’s dominance was highlighted by the expected goals comparison between the teams, with Nagelsmann’s team recording an xG of 3.56 to Union’s pitiful 0.35, showing the calibre and quantity of the opportunities that came their way.
Muller described Bayern’s performance against Union as “really energetic,” as further quoted on Bayern’s official website.
“For example, the way we managed to break free in the attack. We need to be active like that,” the midfielder said. “We were always on the move and aggressive in the tackle. For me, it was a lot of fun to be so involved in such moments. It was a good game.
“We weren’t top at kick-off, so had to do something about that. It was a good step but counts for nothing next week. We have to deliver again. I’m happy we made that step. You have to play that way against Union. It was the first small step towards the kind of football we want to play.”
Nagelsmann called Bayern’s victory a “benchmark” accomplishment.
We had complete dominance, he continued. We missed a few of our ten to twelve excellent opportunities.
Bayern will be in action again on Saturday, March 4 2023 when they visit VfB Stuttgart in the Bundesliga.
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