Muller brace proof of fresh approach

Thomas Muller scoring his second goal to put Bayern Munich up 3-0 in the first half before Chelsea scored twice. He played down his own contribution, saying: "We all had a good game overall and a lot of players played well."
Thomas Muller scoring his second goal to put Bayern Munich up 3-0 in the first half before Chelsea scored twice. He played down his own contribution, saying: "We all had a good game overall and a lot of players played well."ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI
The two sets of fans cheering on their heroes yesterday.
The two sets of fans cheering on their heroes yesterday.ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI
The two sets of fans cheering on their heroes yesterday.
The two sets of fans cheering on their heroes yesterday.ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI

Only a day after hinting to the media that he might change his strategy and take more chances to go for goal, Bayern Munich forward Thomas Muller delivered.

In front of a 48,522-strong crowd at the National Stadium, he scored twice to help his side to a 3-2 win over Chelsea in the opening game of the International Champions Cup, before being substituted with 10 minutes remaining.

Yet the 27-year-old refused to take all the glory, saying: "The media is always too high or low on players. We all had a good game overall and a lot of players played well.

"The first half was especially really good and I'm happy with the way we played."

A disappointing 2016-17 season saw the Germany international score just five goals in the Bundesliga and endure a 999-minute Bundesliga goal drought, raising questions over his future at Bayern, especially with the arrival of new signing James Rodriguez on loan from Real Madrid.

However, Muller silenced all doubts about his striking ability, especially with his second goal. He confidently hammered the ball into the back of the net from 25 metres out to put Bayern 3-0 up in the 27th minute.

Bayern coach Carlo Ancelotti commended the player's performance. He said: "He's an intelligent player, he is able to find space. Honestly, he was good last year. He didn't score a lot of goals but his position on the pitch was good.

"In this moment, he is more efficient closer to the goal and this is important. He is always an important player not because he scores but because of the positions that he is able to take on the pitch."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 26, 2017, with the headline 'Muller brace proof of fresh approach'. Print Edition | Subscribe