Stuttgart - For 92 minutes it looked as though FC Bayern München would be dropping their first Bundesliga points since Matchday 8, as they entered stoppage time level with VfB Stuttgart in the Mercedes-Benz Arena on Wednesday night.
Even when some way off their best, however, it would seem that this Bavarian machine simply cannot be stopped, as a late winner condemned the brave hosts to a 2-1 loss in Matchday 17's rearranged fixture, their tenth straight defeat against the German record title-holders in all competitions.
The winner, courtesy of Thiago Alcantara's stunning acrobatic volley, his very first Bundesliga goal, sparked wild celebrations in the visiting camp, the likes of which team-mate Thomas Müller had rarely seen in his 152 Bundesliga appearances. Talking exclusively to bundesliga.com after the encounter, the German international outlined his belief that it is the team's desire to succeed that marks them out as the nation's best.
bundesliga.com: Thomas Müller, Bayern can win matches easily but also prevail in games that seem lost. Is there anything you can’t do?
Thomas Müller We don’t have to go crazy and start believing our own hype, but the fact is that the spirit in our team is just brilliant, and the way we celebrated the winning goal said it all. We obviously have a healthy lead in the Bundesliga table, but we still approach every game with the same desire. That’s the most important thing about us, we never let ourselves give up.
bundesliga.com: What exactly is it that drives the team on?
Müller: We just really enjoy playing football and winning games. That’s why we’re out there in the first place.
bundesliga.com: What was different about this game against Stuttgart compared to the team’s last few matches? The passing and movement wasn't quite there this time.
Müller: We controlled the game in midfield, but we didn’t get into the right spaces in the final third. They defended very deep and I think that was where we made it difficult for ourselves, we weren’t dangerous enough. That changed when Mario Mandzukic came on though. We found more space and played much better. At the end of the day we won with a lot of character, but also a bit of luck. We just really wanted to win it though.
bundesliga.com: How do you assess this win? Are FC Bayern beatable or not?
Müller: You can make up your own mind about that. We just give it our all in every game. That’s the most important thing.
bundesliga.com: Winning games at the death like this must be very special though…
Müller: Absolutely. You can’t compare a victory like this to an easy 4-0 win. In terms of the emotion, it’s a completely different experience. You can’t account for nights like these.
Interview by Jens Fischer