Thomas Muller suspension: Bayern Munich forward to miss Champions League last-16 showdown with Liverpool after being hit with two-match ban – Goal.com
The Germany international will play no part in a heavyweight European encounter after being made aware of his punishment for his red card versus Ajax
Thomas Muller will be forced to sit out both legs of Bayern Munich’s Champions League last-16 encounter with Liverpool after being hit with a two-match ban.
The Germany international has been made aware of the punishment he faces for being sent off in the Bavarians’ final group stage clash with Ajax.
That dismissal represented the first time in a career spanning over 460 appearances for Bayern that the 29-year-old had been shown a straight red card.
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He was given his marching orders during the thrilling 3-3 draw with Ajax after catching Nicolas Tagliafico with a head-high challenge.
Muller was quick to point out after the game that there was no malice in his tackle, posting on social media: “I would like to apologise to Nico Tagliafico.
“There was no intention [in the foul]. Get well.”
UEFA has, however, decided that action must be taken and will force the World Cup winner to sit out two continental clashes.
That means Muller will play no part in a heavyweight meeting with Liverpool, though Bayern have confirmed that they will appeal the punishment.
Bayern have been paired with the Premier League leaders in the first knockout round of the 2018-19 Champions League.
The first leg of that contest is set to be staged at Anfield on February 19.
A return date will then be played out at the Allianz Arena on March 13.
Liverpool made it all the way to the final of last season’s competition before coming unstuck against Real Madrid and will be hoping to go one better this time around.
Their cause will be aided by the absence of Muller from Bayern’s plans, though the Reds will be without Virgil van Dijk themselves for the Anfield leg after he picked up two bookings during the group stage.
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Muller has not been as productive in the current campaign as he has been in the past, netting just five times to date, but remains a proven performer at the very highest level.
While Niko Kovac will now have to tweak his plans to counter an enforced break for an experienced figure, Bayern have also been stung with a fine as a result of the behaviour of certain supporters against Ajax.
With fireworks having been let off within the away end at the Johan Cruyff Arena, the German giants have been ordered to pay €8,000.