Muller sets record, scores to keep Bayern top in Bundesliga

Thomas Mueller of Bayern Munich celebrates with teammates after scoring the team's first goal during the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern München and VfL Bochum 1848 at Allianz Arena on February 11, 2023 in Munich, Germany.

Thomas Muller set a Bayern Munich record for Bundesliga appearances and celebrated by scoring in a 3-0 win over Bochum to keep the defending champion on top on Saturday.

It was Muller’s 428th league appearance for Bayern, one more than club great Gerd Muller, and the most for any outfield player at the club. Only goalkeepers Oliver Kahn (429) and Sepp Meier (473) have played more Bundesliga games for Bayern.

Muller capitalized on a botched backpass from Bochum defender Saidy Janko to break the deadlock in the 41st minute with his fourth league goal of the season. He has 141 altogether.

Bayern substitute Kingsley Coman then scored after some fine combination play in the 64th and Serge Gnabry made it 3-0 with a penalty in the 73rd after he was fouled by the luckless Janko.

It kept Bayern three points clear of Borussia Dortmund, which defeated Werder Bremen 2-0 away to maintain its perfect start to 2023.

Union Berlin visited fourth-placed Leipzig in the late game and could restore the one-point gap to Bayern with a win.

Bayern next visits Paris Saint-Germain the Champions League. Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann was evidently thinking of Tuesday’s game when he took Müller off at halftime and gave some time off to João Cancelo, Jamal Musiala, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Leroy Sané.

Midfielder Arijon Ibrahimović — no relation to Swedish star Zlatan — came on in the 77th for his Bayern debut.

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