Bayern Munich star Thomas Muller has a high standard for soccer’s honor code. The 29-year-old Raumdeuter is a stickler for the game being played the right way and was put off by the penalty that was awarded to Fortuna Dusseldorf yesterday.
In the second half, Mats Hummels was given a penalty for a handball inside the box, after a a VAR review. While there is zero doubt that the ball hit the hand of Hummels and even that Hummels had his hand in an “unnatural position”, the ball appeared to take a deflection off of Thiago Alcantara before striking Hummels. Also, the close-range proximity of Hummels with regard to the offensive player made the play unavoidable. In the eyes of some observers, this was enough to wave off the handball, but not for the VAR official.
Regardless, Muller told Sky (as captured by Goal) he would not have accepted the penalty.
Of course, the ball clearly hits the hand. I don’t know how the rest of Germany sees it, but as a striker I would not want a penalty like that for us. I would deliberately miss it.
Fortuna Dusseldorf coach Friedhelm Funkel indicated that he thought the play was a “crystal-clear penalty” as well, so opinions varied as always. Either way, Dusseldorf’s Dodi Lukebakio eventually buried the penalty kick, but it was too little, too late against a dominant Bayern side.
Penalty controversy aside, Muller also spoke about the pressure on Bayern and how the squad will handle it.
We always have pressure and we have to deliver. It does not hurt us if we have a bit of pressure. This is how we have to go on. Dortmund are currently not brilliant, but they are delivering the results and that puts us under pressure. It’s in our own hands and that’s how we need to play each game at a time. We are aiming to win all our remaining games.