Something was missing on the scoreboard at the Allianz Arena in Bayern München’s 8-0 thrashing of Hamburger SV - Thomas Müller’s name was nowhere to be seen amongst the goalscorers, despite being one of the Record Champion’s best players on the day. He set up Arturo Vidal’s opener and David Alaba’s strike to make it 5-0, while also winning the penalty to make it 2-0, which Robert Lewandowski converted. In this interview, Müller explains that getting an assist is just as fun as finding the back of the net, as he also looks ahead to Wednesday’s coming DFB Cup match with Schalke 04.
Question: Mr. Müller, you beat HSV 8-0, does it get any better?
Thomas Müller: When you win 8-0 at home in nice weather and in such an amazing atmosphere, as a club, as a team and as a fan you can go home highly satisfied. At some point things just started to happen automatically. Also, Hamburg buckled, which is normal from a psychological perspective.
Question: Was the result down to Bayern being so strong, or HSV so weak?
Müller: It’s always a mix of the two and is also down to how the decisive moments are played out. When, like this time, goals are scored from well-created chances, both are spoken about after the game. However, we also forced it, took advantage of the space that was there and scored a couple of beautiful goals.
Question: You yourself didn’t find the back of the net in the goal-fest, but did set up Vidal and David Alaba to score, as well as win the penalty which Robert Lewandowski converted. Assisting has never been so fun, right?
Müller: Yes absolutely, it was definitely really fun. We did what we look to do in every game – enjoy playing, play well with good passing. Then it’s also fun as a team and as an individual.
Question:What did you think of your own performance?
Müller: On this occasion, I was much more involved in the play than in the previous games. When you don’t always face a back-five, you get into space and gaps better – not that I want to let future opposition know that playing against a back-five isn’t nice (laughs). But this meant there were many situations in which I was able to be actively involved in the play and shoot on goal, but again I didn’t score. However, I can get over than; my assist for David is possibly the prime example that goals aren’t everything for me when I can see my teammates in better positions than me and can help them. It was a situation in which I could have shot myself – free from seven meters out, but David and I were clearly two against one. I saw him in the corner of my eye and it was clear what I had to do. Assists are just as important as goals for me.
Question: Bayern have again beaten Hamburg convincingly, have they become your favourite opponent to play against?
Müller: In the first game of the season against them we only made it 1-0 in the 90th minute, so you can’t generalise. On a good pitch like here at the Allianz Arena it was easier to play a good passing game than last week in Berlin. That doesn’t necessarily make two or three goals difference, but our game made for that. We made some good ground with regards to our goal difference.
Question: On Wednesday, FC Bayern face Schalke in the quarterfinal of the DFB Cup, the same opponent you drew 1-1 with a few weeks ago. What meaning does this 8-0 have now?
Müller: An 8-0 win is nice, but the Bundesliga is long. You do however have to celebrate these things when they come. Nevertheless, we now have to concentrate on Wednesday and prepare with our goal in mind.