Bayern Munich – Thomas Muller Unexpected Shift Brings Perfection

Except for more goals, Bayern Munich played the perfect match, with everything going for them. An early, lucky goal by David Alaba, and 90 more minutes of constant pressure and fantastic football, that should be enough to pull them through the quarterfinals. A lot of this was enabled by Toni Kroos leaving the match so soon, and the introduction of Arjen Robben to the right wing, while Thomas Muller was shifted to the middle.

And while Muller has thrived this season on the right, despite not being the quickest of players, Bayern have enjoyed having only one soloist on the pitch for most of this year, with Franck Ribery being a much less annoying version of Arjen Robben, doing more than just frustrating dribbling. His temper almost got the best of him and cost Bayern dearly, but luckily for him, Mark Clattenburg is one awful referee.

Muller doesn’t have the long range shot Kroos has, but along with Bastian Schweinsteiger, he’s Bayern’s most intelligent player. Moving to the middle to cover from Kroos allowed him to apply more pressure on the Juventus defense and Andrea Pirlo, which meant there was hardly anything worth mentioning about the Juventus attacking game, making less than 5 appearances in the German penalty box throughout the match.

Pressure was the name of the game for Bayern, feeling fresh, relaxed and motivated after their demolition of Hamburg during the weekend. Mario Madnzukic put in one of the most hardest-working performances you’ll ever see from a striker, topping it off with an assist to Muller that most forwards would have tried to finish on their own. He might not have the goalscoring abilities of Mario Gomez, but he’s better in every other aspect, which the bottom line is means better for Bayern.

As long as some sort of complacency problem like their second leg against Arsenal doesn’t come crashing down upon their shoulders and minds, Bayern should do well in Turin as well. Maybe not a win, and certainly not a flawless display of attacking football and 90 minutes of pressure, but it was easy to see who is the better, higher quality side. Without the tools and speed to break this kind of pressure, Juventus didn’t really have a chance, and don’t really have one to turn things around.

Image: Source