Thomas Muller arguably turned in one of his strongest performances of the 2017-2018 season as Bayern Munich thrashed Besiktas 5-0 in the Champions League at the Allianz Arena. Two goals, an assist, an 81% pass success rate, and winning all 6 of his aerial duels aided Bayern to a triumphant victory over the Turkish side, firmly planting a foot in the next round of the Champions League knockout stages.
Impressively, Muller’s 2 goals were his 41st and 42nd in the Champions League. He has now scored 21 knockout stage goals in the competition—third behind only Cristiano Ronaldo (56) and Lionel Messi (38).
Following the match, Jupp Heynckes had plenty of praise for Bayern’s number 25 (FCBayern.com):
That’s Müller for you—he’s got it! He’s a player who’s really important to our system because he can sometimes score a goal out of nothing. He’s very much on top of his game and can motivate others. He’s always in the right place thanks to his effervescence, pace, and the speed of his reactions. That makes him unique.
Heynckes also added that Müller's stats would be even more impressive if it were not for an unfortunate muscle injury in the season:
If he hadn’t been injured for five weeks then he would’ve netted even more goals. It’s really incredible with Thomas how he knows exactly that the Champions League is something really special that also requires special performances.
Müller's teammates also celebrated the unorthodox forward. Müller's friend Mats Hummels joined Heynckes’s commendation of Muller, highlighting Müller uncanny ability to read what is happening on the field:
I’ve always stood up for Thomas because he’s an incredibly intelligent player. Players are often assessed according to whether their game “looks especially elegant” or is “full of technical tricks.” But he believes game intelligence is the most important thing for a player. And up to now I’ve not seen anybody who has more than Thomas.
You could say Müller is a play with uncanny horse sense.