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Match-winner Luiz overcomes the obstacles

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Match-winner Luiz overcomes the obstacles

Postby FCBayernNews » Mon Aug 15, 2011 6:30 pm

It has been an eventful week for Luiz Gustavo, epitomised by an incident after just seven minutes of Bayern's Bundesliga meeting with Wolfsburg. The midfielder was struck full in the face by fellow countryman Rafinha's clearance and collapsed to the ground like a boxer taking a sucker punch. It looked like a knockout blow, but Gustavo eventually picked himself up and played on as if nothing had happened.

But after half-time, it happened again: the hard-running ball-winner hurled himself to block a dangerous shot by Wolfsburg's Hasebe. He succeeded too, but only at the cost of another blow to his head. However, arguably the biggest test of his physical strength came a minute into stoppage time. The Brazilian had just scored the winning goal, but found himself buried under a pile of eight ecstatic team-mates.

"It symbolises our strength as a team. Everyone wants to help all the others, which is why the celebrations were so wild," commented the scorer, looking back on a week packed with emotional moments. It started with Bayern's totally unexpected opening-day defeat to Borussia Mönchengladbach, continued with his first full cap for Brazil when he came on as a substitute against Germany, and ended with a vitally important goal to seal the win away to Wolfsburg.

"It was a difficult situation, and it was our last chance," the 24-year-old reflected. "Franck laid it on really well, and I was fortunate enough to score. It was a very important victory," the match-winner stated.

Best pass completion of the match

Gustavo was one of the best players on the Wolfsburg pitch, and not merely because of his second goal in a Bayern shirt. Partnering Bastian Schweinsteiger in defensive midfield, the Brazilian's work rate was prodigious against a hard-running and sporadically dangerous home team. "He was excellent in defence. He won a lot of challenges and often recovered possession," enthused FCB boss Jupp Heynckes after the previous week's meeting with Gladbach.

The midfielder continued his impressive form against Felix Magath's Wolves. He finished with 68 percent of his tackles won, he was only beaten once in the air, and his pass completion rate came in at just under 89 percent, the best of all Bayern's starting line-up. In short, Gustavo excelled in the position he describes as his favourite.

Not afraid to shoot

The player's quality was also evident when he joined in his team's attacking efforts. He finished on three shots at goal, the same as Toni Kroos, and top of his team's rankings in that respect. "And I'm even more delighted because it was the last of my shots which won the game," he declared.

"You have to keep believing you can win right to the end," the player continued, "and even the best teams need a bit of luck at times." After an incident-filled week, Luiz Gustavo knows plenty about good fortune and feeling lucky. Any residual headache from his efforts on Saturday will surely soon evaporate.
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