Thomas Müller thought he had done enough. He and his teammates, highly favored and backed by their home stadium, their home crowd, their home town, grafted for over 80 minutes against the Big Blue Wall, missing chance after chance. At long last, an awkward header straight down into the ground bounced over a befuddled Petr Čech. Müller hardly knew how to celebrate. He thought he had just won the Champions League for Bayern Munich.
Once the celebrations died down, he soon made way for hulking Daniel van Buyten, while Salomon Kalou made way for Fernando Torres. A minute later, with Müller sat on the bench, helpless now to influence proceedings, Torres would win a corner, which Juan Mata would deliver onto the head of Didier Drogba. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Seven years later, the now 30-year-old Müller — with over 500 appearances for Bayern already! — still hasn’t gotten completely over that May 19th night, if his Instagram account is any indication. Talking about Monday’s draw for the Round of 16, which paired Chelsea and Bayern together in the Champions League for the first time since that game, he tagged his post with #revengeissweet.
(Chelsea have of course played Bayern since then, in the 2013 UEFA Super Cup after Bayern won the Champions League and Chelsea claimed the Europa League earlier that year. Shows you how much the Super Cup actually counts, or, more accurately, doesn’t.)
Müller’s confidence may not be misplaced, but as we learned on that glorious night in 2012, in the Champions League, as in all knockout competitions, anything is possible when it’s written in the stars.
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