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Outstanding Ribéry, Müller emulating Elber

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Outstanding Ribéry, Müller emulating Elber

Postby FCBayernNews » Sun Nov 04, 2012 8:30 pm

Thomas Müller pulled no punches after Saturday's match in Hamburg: "He was the worst player on the field, he dragged us all down!" The Germany international even produced a follow-up quip: "He has to improve in so many ways!" Fortunately, Franck Ribéry was well out of earshot, as the France star had already taken his seat on the team bus.

Just seconds later, Müller's exercise in deadpan humour collapsed and a broad grin stretched across his face. In his typically witty way, the 23-year-old underlined what the 57,000 crowd at the Imtech Arena and everyone watching on television already knew: Franck Ribéry is all but unplayable at the moment. But when he spoke to FCB.tv on Sunday, the winger was already looking to the future: "We're very, very good at the moment, but we have to regenerate well because we have a tough match against Lille on Wednesday."

Franck had a hand in all Bayern's goals against Hamburg. He set up the opener with a long ball from his own half, and provided the assists for the second and third. "Franck was outstanding. You can see he's utterly determined to win something this season," noted boss Jupp Heynckes.

Ribéry was sidelined for the last week and a half with a sprain, and missed the meetings with Leverkusen and Kaiserslautern. In Hamburg, he seamlessly continued his exceptional form of recent weeks. He was a persistent threat in attack, but also put in a huge amount of defensive work as well, "and that's the best thing of all," said Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Müller emulating Elber

If Ribéry was the man of the match, it was a close run thing against his team-mates. Bayern again kept a clean sheet, Schweinsteiger and Luiz Gustavo organised and controlled the game in midfield, and Müller and Toni Kroos aided and abetted Ribéry in attack. Lone striker Mario Mandzukic worked his socks off up front. "That was almost football as art and it's wonderful to watch," enthused Uli Hoeneß.

Three excellently taken goals crowned a superb team performance. Schweinsteiger dived to head home the opener, Müller scored from an unfeasible angle, and Kroos blasted home following a stunning passing interchange. Müller's goal brought back memories of Giovane Elber in a 1999 visit to Rostock, when the Brazilian nicked the ball off home keeper Martin Pieckenhagen's toe and scored from near the corner flag. It was later voted goal of the season.

Determined Munich

"Giovane's goal was much more difficult. I can only do that with my right foot and Giovane with his left - but at the end of the day, it's only a goal," said Müller, "we're a couple of percent hungrier this season and even more determined to succeed." Two seasons without silverware has meant "we've had to listen to some criticism. Naturally, it's always better when you're looking down on the rest from the top."

The match in Hamburg amply illustrated why that is currently the case. FCB were determined and aggressive, ruthlessly converting their chances. Fittingly enough, Kroos described his fourth goal of the season as follows: "I just banged it in." And that's what happens when things are going your way.
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