Berlin (AFP) – Thomas Mueller joked that the Bundesliga without fans feels like “old man’s football, 7pm, under floodlights” after Bayern Munich brushed aside Union Berlin 2-0 behind closed doors on Sunday.
A first-half Robert Lewandowski penalty and a late Benjamin Pavard header sealed Bayern’s win in front of empty terraces in Berlin.
The result leaves defending champions Bayern four points clear as the German league restarted this weekend after a two-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 virus.
However, Mueller admitted it was strange to play Union behind closed doors at their compact Alten Foersterei stadium, which is usually packed with 22,000 passionate home fans.
“It felt a bit like the atmosphere you get for old man’s football, 7pm, under floodlights, but as soon as the ball started to roll, the game took our focus,” said Mueller.
The Bundesliga became the first top European league to resume this weekend, using draconian hygiene guidelines, regular testing of players and insisting on games in near-empty stadiums.
Hugging, embracing and handshakes were also banned.
“There were a few butterflies before the restart, wondering how it would go, like before the first game of the season in August,” said Mueller.
“I wasn’t worried about anything going wrong, everything was explained clearly to us.
“Union Berlin, just like us, were well prepared, no handshakes before kick-off etc.”
Mueller said the defending champions were just happy to win their first game after the restart to keep them on course for an eighth consecutive league title.
“We came here with the goal of getting the three points,” added Mueller.
“We had a bit more security after the second goal.”
200+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, World Cup, Euro 2024 & more
- Includes NBC, USA, FOX, ESPN, CBSSN & more
Live & On Demand TV Streaming
- Price: $69.99/mo. for Entertainment package
- Watch World Cup, Euro 2024 & MLS
- Includes ESPN, ESPN2, FS1 + local channels
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
- Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & more
- Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
2,000+ soccer games per year
- Price: $4.99/mo
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & NWSL
- Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
- Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
- Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
- Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
- Jesus wants to emulate boyhood hero Henry after sealing Arsenal move
- Manchester City seal swoop for Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips
- Arsenal sign Gabriel Jesus from Man City
- Where to find USWNT vs. Haiti on US TV
- ViX+ reveals pricing details and soccer coverage plans
- Get a Paramount+ one month free trial for a limited time
- Who should host the World Cup Final in 2026?
- Where to find Orlando Pride vs. Racing Louisville on US TV
- Ronaldo wants to leave Man United – reports
- Kylian Mbappé can shock the world again at World Cup 2022