Thomas Muller has attempted to rile up Real Madrid with his comments in a press conference, ahead of the Champions League semi-final second leg. Muller’s side Bayern Munich trail Los Blancos 2-1 from the first leg and now face a difficult task at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Muller was referring to the contentious fixture between the two sides in this competition last year, where Madrid benefited from some suspect officiating. Bayern entered the fixture with the same deficit from the first leg but managed to overcome the odds to take the fixture into extra time.
Arturo Vidal received a harsh red card in the 84th minute to tip the fixture in Madrid’s favour before an offside goal won the game for the Galacticos. Muller has urged the officials to step up, after hinting that last year’s ref Viktor Kassai, bowed to the pressure of the home crowd.
Muller fancies causing an upset at the Bernabeu and he has stoked the fires before this fixture, as quoted by Marca:
"Everyone knows what happened here last year, with two offside Madrid goals
"And the Juventus penalty... the atmosphere should not affect the officials.
"We will concentrate on the game because we are already under too much pressure.
"We analysed the first leg to know how to face the return
"We have to take advantage of our chances, be hungry to score goals and to hurt Madrid."
Bayern spurned several big opportunities in the first leg, most notably from star striker Robert Lewandowski who had an off day. Lewandowski is actually the subject of reported interest from opponents Madrid, but Bayern are unlikely to sanction a move.
Muller leapt to the defence of his strike partner adding: "If we don't win and we don't score, we're not going to look for a scapegoat, Lewa's qualities are indisputable."
Real Madrid have endured a poor domestic campaign by their high standards, sitting 15 points behind bitter rivals Barcelona. The Champions League represents a last hope for Madrid to end their season with some credit, whilst Bayern Munich haven’t been to a Champions League final since 2013, something they’ll be hoping to rectify in keeping with their own high standards.