The Thomas Müller and Arjen Robben show was back in town for another crowd-pleasing performance in Bavaria on Matchday 4, Bayern Munich’s dynamic duo dovetailing to help derail Mainz’s dreams of an upset at the Allianz Arena.
“When he’s on the pitch I play better,” Robben relayed to reporters after FCB’s 4-0 triumph in a fixture that has caused the reigning champions problems in the past. Müller’s first-half opener took a nick off Robben before flying past visiting goalkeeper Rene Adler, leading the Dutchman to later claim, “It was mine!” His half-hearted protests fell on deaf ears, however, with the 11th-minute strike officially accredited to the Germany international.
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“We had a lot of fun out there, played as a team and there is little to criticise about the performance,” Müller said after netting his first Bundesliga goal since last April. Had Robben not made it 2-0 with a sublime sprint and chipped finish midway through the opening half – the first goal he has scored with his right foot for two-and-a-half years – the 33-year-old might have ribbed Müller harder about the game’s opener. Yet the flying winger had nothing but praise for his long-standing colleague.
“With Thomas, you have much more movement; he is like a second striker who goes into gaps, tearing open spaces for team-mates,” Robben explained. “When he’s on the pitch I play better – I know that sounds funny and it has nothing to do with the others. Every player here has a lot of quality – just as Thomas does; he works very hard.”
Striker Robert Lewandowski netted the game’s other two goals on what was his 100th appearance for the club, with Müller providing the Pole with the assist for his first of the day. Bayern’s triumph against Mainz went a long way to banishing last weekend’s 2-0 reverse against Hoffenheim but Müller insists his side will need be just as effective in future games to prove the Matchday 3 blip was a one-off.
“We weren't at all satisfied after the Hoffenheim [result],” the attacker explained. “We talked to each other, of course, because we're ambitious and want success. We want to take our good performance today into the coming weeks and we will see on Tuesday [away to Schalke] and Friday [against Wolfsburg] how that goes.”
With consistency the aim, Bayern seem to have it in spades when Müller scores, with the southern giants never losing any of the 76 Bundesliga games in which he has netted. And with Robben in tandem, the champions appear well-versed for the challenges ahead.