Thiago Alcantara said Bayern Munich were deserving winners after his stunning scissor-kick secured a last-gasp 2-1 victory over Stuttgart.
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Bayern had trailed Stuttgart until the final 15 minutes but, as the prospect of a first Bundesliga defeat since October 2012 loomed, a Claudio Pizarro header and Thiago’s injury-time winner turned it around.
The result extended Bayern’s unbeaten league run to 43 games and left them 13 points clear of Bayer Leverkusen at the top of the table, and Thiago felt the reigning champions were rewarded for their efforts.
“We gave it our all until the last minute, and therefore deserved the win,” he told reporters. “My goal was wonderful indeed, but the success of our team is more important.”
Thiago, a summer signing from Barcelona, was praised by his teammates after the game.
“You can see what Thiago is capable of doing with the ball,” goalkeeper Manuel Neuer told reporters. “We never stopped believing that we could turn the game around.”
Thomas Mueller, who provided the assist for Thiago’s goal, added: “You can’t compare a 2-1 last-gasp win like that to a 4-0 victory. That’s a totally different emotional experience. That’s why we celebrated like kids.”
Toni Kroos also backed the 22-year-old Spain international, saying: “Thiago is a player who takes chances. That was rewarded today.”
However, Kroos appeared less than happy during the match itself as he threw his gloves towards the bench after being substituted for Pizarro on the hour mark.
The Germany international, linked with Manchester United after David Moyes watched Bayern play last week, has yet to agree an extension to his contract and coach Pep Guardiola has not ruled out an exit.
German magazine kicker magazine reported on Thursday that Bayern maintain that they are unwilling to meet Kroos’ wage demands, adding: “Everything is possible. He could see out his contract until 2015, or leave in the summer, with interested clubs lining up, and Bayern able to cash in on him.”