Barcelona are not better than Bayern, says Muller

The Bavarian side’s achievements this season are every bit as impressive as those of their Catalan cousins, the Germany international argued

Thomas Muller says he does not know in what aspect Barcelona could be considered superior to Bayern Munich. 

Muller, 26, scored the opening goal of the game in Bayern’s 2-2 draw at Juventus in the first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie as the Bundesliga champions aim to win a second European crown in four years.

Bayern were knocked out of last year’s tournament in the semi-finals by Barcelona – who went on to win the treble – but Muller believes the clubs are more even than most people think.

GOALREAD MORE  | Lahm: Title is Bayern’s to lose

“Barcelona are in a good moment and they come from winning the treble last season,” the Germany international told Sport1 . “But I see Bayern as one of the strongest in Europe, naturally alongside Barcelona.

“Bayern are first in the [Bundesliga], are one game away from a cup final, and got a good result away in the first leg of the round of 16.

“I don’t know where they are better than us.”

The forward added: “You can see every week how good they are, but also you can see our games and say: ‘Yes, they are also very strong.’

“If we find ourselves up against Barcelona again, we will be prepared.”

Diego Costa suffers injury against PSG

The former Atletico Madrid man was on target to bring the Premier League club back within one goal of their rivals, but he limped out of the action to be replaced by Traore

Diego Costa was forced off in the second half of Chelsea’s Champions League last-16 match with Paris Saint-Germain due to injury. 

The Spain international netted in the first half as the home side looked to overturn a 2-1 deficit from the first leg.

GOALREAD MORE  | Terry: I’m out of PSG clash

With just under an hour on the clock, however, Costa went down in the PSG half off the ball and limped out of the action, before he was replaced by Bertrand Traore.

Costa slumped to the floor before signalling to the bench that he was suffering some discomfort, exiting almost immediately.

Just minutes after the forward left the game Zlatan Ibrahimovic struck to restore Paris Saint-Germain’s lead in the second leg. 

The French club lead 4-2 on aggregate, leaving Chelsea needing three goals to complete a miraculous Champions League recovery.

Muller: I have a special connection with Lewandowski

The Germany international also says he will be sad to see coach Pep Guardiola leave Allianz Arena in the summer when he heads to the Premier League with Manchester City

Bayern Munich attacker Thomas Muller has hailed his connection with Robert Lewandowski following their sublime run of form in 2015-16.

The two forwards have scored 40 of Bayern’s 59 Bundesliga goals between them this term, with Muller netting 17 times and Lewandowski responsible for 23 goals.

Germany international Muller, 26, revealed he is loving life playing alongside the former Borussia Dortmund star.

“We have a certain connection and both have a great goal instinct,” Muller told Bild.

“Plus we get a lot of dangerous balls in from the wings. That’s what the coach demands from the team as well.

“Pep [Guardiola] knows that we cause our opponents a lot of trouble when we both pop up in front of goal.

“The only restriction he’s giving me is that I cannot play as an extra striker. I have to play behind Robert.”

GOALREAD MORE  | EXCLUSIVE: ‘Pep gets his star playing with great joy’

Head coach Guardiola will leave Bayern for Manchester City at the end of the season and Muller is sad to see the former Barcelona boss move on.

“We have gone through a great development as a team – we all know what to do and do it at a very high level,” he added.

“The team would have enjoyed continuing to work with Pep, but he had different plans and that’s alright.

“You cannot look into the future, so you never know whether our progress would have halted had Pep stayed put. I don’t think anybody would feel bad if we were to stay at this level.”

RUMOURS: Guardiola in talks with Gundogan

Having turned down a contract renewal with Borussia Dortmund, the Germany international looks set for a summer switch to the Premier League

Soon-to-be Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has met with the agent of Ilkay Gundogan, according to a report in Bild.

The outgoing Bayern Munich coach travelled to Amsterdam on Monday to discuss transfer business with City director Txiki Begiristain, with rumours suggesting the pair were discussing moves for Ajax’s Riechedly Bazoer and PSV’s Jetro Willems.

The latest report, however, claims the pair were holding talks with Gundogan’s agent over a summer move to the Etihad.

The news adds momentum to rumours that Man City are in pole position to sign the midfielder, who turned down a renewal with Borussia Dortmund.

Arsenal, Juventus and Barcelona are also credited with an interest in the Germany international.


Robben urges Gotze to remain patient at Bayern

The Netherlands international says he understands his team-mate’s current frustrations and is confident he will be able to prove his worth on the pitch in due course

Arjen Robben has urged Bayern Munich team-mate Mario Gotze to remain patient as the Germany international struggles for game time.

Gotze recently resumed regular training after a lengthy spell on the sidelines due to an adductor injury, but is yet to make his long-awaited comeback.

The 23-year-old has not featured for Bayern since the 5-1 win over his former club Borussia Dortmund on October 4, but Robben has told his fellow attacker not to lose his composure over his situation.

“Mario has to be patient and take his time,” Robben told reporters.

“He knows that he is a great player and he will soon be showing it again on the pitch.

“But his situation is obviously not easy for him.”

Robben also had his say on Pep Guardiola’s imminent departure and stressed Bayern aim to give their coach a fitting farewell.

GOALREAD MORE  | VIDEO: 15-year-old Robben teaches trick

“It’s an enormous pleasure to be working with Guardiola,” he added.

“The team has gone through an incredible development over the past three seasons.

“I really hope that we can say farewell to Pep by winning a few titles.”