Thomas Müller back to his best against Hamburg | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 25.02.2017
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Thomas Müller back to his best against Hamburg

With just nine Bundesliga goals this season, Müller has looked tired and out of form throughout this campaign. Yet on Saturday he played a vital role in the demolishing of Hamburg, writes DW's Stefan Bienkowski.

Some things in football are a certainty. Arsenal will finish fourth, Jürgen Klopp will scream and shout from the sidelines, and Bayern Munich will thump Hamburg every time they come to the Allianz Arena.

Yet among the Mats Hummels assists, Arjen Robben dribbles and Robert Lewandowski goals there was something that fans of the Munich side haven't seen in quite some time: Thomas Müller playing well.

Whether through Carlo Ancelotti's preferred 4-3-3 or just simple fatigue from constant football over the years, Müller has looked a shadow of his former self for much of Bayern's Bundesliga and Champions League campaigns.

Although the German international may have made his triumphant return on paper with a goal against Arsenal last week in Europe, it was during Saturday's demolishing of Hamburg that we saw him back to his enigmatic best.

Thomas Müller (r) freut sich mit Torschütze Kingsley Coman (picture alliance/dpa/A. Gebert)

Müller has been below par this season, but was integral to Bayern's 8-0 win over Hamburg

At the very least Müller was directly involved in four of Bayern's eight goals on the day.

The first came when he picked up the ball on the edge of the box and turned with the elegance and speed of an oil tanker, before laying it off to Arturo Vidal to fire home. The referee then called a penalty for the second after Müller was brought down at the front post.

The third goal came from Müller laying off a shot for Douglas Costa, before Lewandowski knocked in the rebound. A fifth and final contribution then came from a one-two between the forward and attacking left-back David Alaba.

Due to the utterly awful performance from Hamburg, the German champions would have still won by four clear goals without Müller's contribution, but for fans of the Munich side it was a welcome shot in the arm for a team that have lacked ideas for some time.

The stellar performances of Lewandowski over the past few months have only been matched by concerns over what Bayern would do if the Polish striker were to lose his form or pick up an injury.

Until Saturday the answer to that concerning "what if?" scenario was to simply throw a tired and out-of-form Müller in to the side and hope for the best. Now, following a performance like that, Bayern fans can at least take comfort in knowing that their very own "Raumdeuter" looks back to his title-winning best.

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