Scored one, set up another – Thomas Müller was awarded Man of the Match as FC Bayern München triumphed over SV Werder Bremen in the DFB-Pokal semi-final on Wednesday night. On 25th May, RB Leipzig await the record champions in Berlin. After the game, we caught up with Thomas Müller, who spoke about the match on the whole, the deciding penalty and his team’s desire for titles.
DFB.de: Thomas Müller, why was last night’s match so emotional?
Thomas Müller: The match turned out to be a final in just a few heartbeats. After Werder scored twice to draw level at 2-2, we took the lead again with just a few minutes on the clock. Then, in an amazing atmosphere in the stadium, there were a couple of feisty moments in the closing stages. Of course you want to give everything you have to reach the final. That’s exactly what both teams wanted to do last night. You could certainly see this at certain moments last night. However, I think it all played out in understandable circumstances.
DFB.de: To what extent is it important that FC Bayern München embrace a fighting spirit?
Müller: That is very important to us. It is important to be able to give an extra two or three percent if necessary at this level of football. It is important to have the willingness and doggishness on days like this. That is the case in matches like this where we don’t fall in beauty but instead claw out results just like other teams do against us. Overall, the team played well and it certainly wasn’t the easiest of tasks when you consider the current form Werder are in.
DFB.de: A big topic for discussions was the penalty given with ten minutes to go, which Robert Lewandowski converted to put you on course to a 3-2 victory. There are questions surrounding whether Theodor Gebre Selassie’s foul on Kingsley Coman was actually a penalty and Werder feel aggrieved at the decision. What are your thoughts on this incident?
Müller: It is understandable that Werder are disappointed at this decision as they went on to lose the match. However, during the match, you could clearly see push on the arm even though the player has got past his opponent. I would say it wasn’t very clever for the player to push his opponent despite having no chance of winning the ball. Therefore, I believe a penalty was the correct decision. I think the referee made this decision as Kingsley had already beaten his man before being blocked off illegally.
DFB.de: While the heated discussions took place on the pitch, were you surprised to see the referee use the Video Assistant Referee to check the decision?
Müller: Why does the referee need to consult the Video Assistant Referee if he is certain it is a penalty? He probably received the decision that there is nothing to be overturned. There was certainly a foul. It was merely used to reach a decision on whether there was enough of a foul to give a penalty. From the match, it was clear that Gebre Selassie was putting pressure on Kingsley.
DFB.de: Could reaching the DFB-Pokal final positively influence the team for the final three Bundesliga matches as FC Bayern look to secure another triumph?
Müller: We will see what the next three weeks brings. Of course we are highly motivated and now want to seal the deal in both competitions. The 5-0 win in Der Klassiker against Dortmund was the initial spark for you. We have a huge desire to win both competitions.
DFB.de: FC Bayern’s two remaining fixtures against RB Leipzig this season, one of which will be the DFB-Pokal final, could have decisive implications on your season. How are you assessing these matches?
Müller: RB Leipzig are obviously in very good form and are playing well in the Rückrunde this season. I think both matches, the Bundesliga clash and the Pokal final and exactly what the fans want to see. We will see what happens.