Three things we learned as Thomas Müller inspired Bayern Munich to all three points against Wolfsburg

Bayern Munich overcame a hapless Wolfsburg 2-1 at the Volkswagen Arena to condemn the hosts to their fourth successive defeat. For Thomas Tuchel’s side, the opening 45 minutes appeared to be significantly straight-forward. With 13 shots compared to Wolfsburg’s one, as well as holding 70% of possession, Der Rekordmeister were ready to head into the break with a comfortable 2-0 lead. Jamal Musiala opened the scoring with a delightful header before Harry Kane’s sublime strike curled into Koen Casteels’ top right-hand corner. However, with the final kick of the half, Maximilian Arnold unleashed a rocket past Manuel Neuer to offer the hosts a slight glimmer of hope.

Nevertheless, while the hosts would become more of a consistent threat after the interval, they failed to test Neuer in goal on their quest to level the game. As for the record champions, the second half was far more frustrating, as they appeared flustered by Arnold’s goal prior to halftime. Regardless, Thomas Müller’s two assists ultimately inspired Bayern to a crucial three points as they look to hunt down Bayer Leverkusen, while Wolfsburg failed to get back to winning ways and are left with just one victory in their last nine outings.

A warning sign to Bayer Leverkusen

Bayern Munich have garnered the nickname Der Rekordmeister for a reason. When it comes to winning the Meisterschale, nobody can do it better than the Bavarian giants. Despite chasing Bayer Leverkusen at this moment in time, Bayern have been largely unaffected by what has come their way. Many other sides would have been feeling their sorrows after a 5-1 hammering at the hands of Eintracht Frankfurt, but not Der Rekordmeister.

Instead, they bounced back in style with a comfortable 1-0 win over Manchester United in the Champions League before putting together their finest performance of the season at home to Stuttgart. A visit to Wolfsburg is never easy, but knowing that only a win would suffice, Thomas Tuchel’s side were on a mission from the first minute.

A dominant first half saw Bayern carry on from where they left off against Stuttgart on Sunday, proving how they are not ready for Die Werkself to run away with the Meisterschale just yet. While the second half may have been far less inspirational, with a handful of anxious moments littered throughout, they were ultimately deserved winners, and with the winter break now here, it will be time for the record champions to reset before they come back to hunt down Leverkusen.

Niko Kovač is under pressure

After a positive start to the season, Wolfsburg would have had aspirations of fighting for a return to the Champions League. However, with one win in their previous nine outings prior to kick-off, the Wolves found themselves closer to the bottom of the Bundesliga table than the Champions League places.

As well as this, with Niko Kovač’s former side paying a visit to the Volkswagen Arena, a change in form before the winter break did not look to be on the horizon. It was a fear that would be confirmed from the first whistle as Bayern took control of the first half, storming into a deserved 2-0 lead.

Nevertheless, Maximilian Arnold’s strike just before halftime looked to offer Kovač’s side a route back into a game they appeared to be out of. However, while the second half would see the Wolves become more dominant, a lacklustre display in the final third highlighted why they are rapidly descending down the Bundesliga table. With goals and results failing to come Wolfsburg’s way, performances are certainly not helping, leaving Kovač’s future up for debate.

Thomas Müller ages like fine wine

After an extended contract for Thomas Müller was confirmed, Bayern Munich ensured they conducted a vital piece of business. While his game time may be depleting, his importance to this side certainly is not. A phenomenal performance against Stuttgart on the weekend only went to prove why the 34-year-old is still one of Der Rekordmeister’s most pivotal players.

The intelligence of his movement and the accuracy of his decision made Stuttgart look lost at sea in their defensive third, as Müller invoked genius for the 83 minutes he was on the pitch. His impact agasint Wolfsburg? No different.

A sumptuous cross into Musiala allowed the 20-year-old to head Bayern in front, before Müller claimed his second assist with a clever cutback to Kane, whose spectacular strike saw Tuchel’s side double their lead. While he was ultimately withdrawn on the hour mark, it was clear to see how, once he was taken off, Bayern failed to impose themselves on Casteels’ goal. Despite being in the twilight of his career, Müller remains as impactful as ever.

GGFN | Will Shopland

Get Football+

More European Football News