There was even a sing-song after the final whistle. “Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you…” sang the Südkurve to their “dear Thomas” on his 27th birthday. A smiling Thomas Müller gave a thumbs-up and thanked the fans. “It was nice,” he said. “It’s always amusing when a few kids and adults sing. It’s always a beautiful droning,” he joked. And that was just the icing on the (birthday) cake after an evening which will go down as a success - and not only for the birthday boy.
FC Bayern won 5-0 against Russian runners-up FC Rostov in the first Champions League game of the new season. It was the Reds’ 13th successive victory in the opening game of the competition (a German record), their 13th successive home win in the tournament (a UEFA record) and the biggest-ever win in a Champions League opener for a German team. Two-goal Joshua Kimmich (53 and 60 minutes) also celebrated his first goals in the Europe’s premier club competition along with Juan Bernat (90). Five games this season, 20 goals, none conceded.
“The evening went to plan. We played with confidence and deserved to win by such a margin,” summarised Manuel Neuer, who kept his fifth clean sheet of the season. Carlo Ancelotti was pleased (“It was a good, convincing performance”) and said that the first aim was to top the group. The FCB head coach used the match against the Champions League newcomers as an opportunity to rotate his squad and was not disappointed – which did not surprise Neuer. “We have a good large squad and we need it for the three competitions.”
“When you’re playing these types of opponents, you first have to break down the wall they put up. We managed to do that,” said Müller. The goalscorer made it 2-0 on the stroke of half-time after Robert Lewandowski had given Bayern the lead from the penalty spot (21 minutes). “We’re focused, we have a good team and so far it’s going well,” added Müller, who spoke of “business as usual, even when there’s a birthday.”