Thomas Muller apologised to Nico Tagliafico after kicking the Ajax left-back in the head during Bayern Munich’s 3-3 draw with the Dutch side in the Champions League.
Ajax and the defending Bundesliga champions had already sealed their places in the Champions League last-16 but the game made for excellent viewing with six goals and two red cards.
Both Muller and Maximilian Wober were sent off in the second half by referee Clement Turpin with the former’s red card causing a stir on the web.
Muller stuck his leg up in the air to try and control the ball but couldn’t get there in time before clattering into the back of Tagliafico’s head.
The Germany international apologised to Tagliafico after the match and he was clearing trying to check on him in the immediate aftermath of the incident.
"Everybody was kung-fu fighting!" 😮
Thomas Muller saw red for this moment of madness against Ajax…
No arguments there 👀 pic.twitter.com/nnQMoYlXkB
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) December 12, 2018
“I would like to apologise to Nico Tagliafico for yesterday’s incident,” Muller told his followers on Twitter. “It was unintentional. Get well soon.”
Auf diesem Wege möchte ich mich bei Nico Tagliafico für den gestrigen Vorfall entschuldigen. Das war keine Absicht. Gute Besserung 👍🏼 pic.twitter.com/TsMcOxdlpi
— Thomas Müller (@esmuellert_) December 13, 2018
After the match, Bayern boss Niko Kovac admitted that Muller’s sending off was “fair” despite him not meaning to harm Tagliafico.
“The red card for Wober was totally justified because he took on that challenge in a negligent way,” Kovac said after the final whistle.
“The red card for Thomas was fair as well. He didn’t see the player but you have to be aware of your opponent coming at the ball at your back. Both penalty decisions correct. Both red cards correct.
“The referee did well, except in the case of the goal that made it 3-3. I’m not a referee but I think it was offside.
“I think we were part of an amazing football game. Both teams played at a high level and played with a pressing style.
“We didn’t want to give Ajax too many opportunities for counter-attacks. That’s why we played a bit more defensively and had one or two very good counter-attacks ourselves in the first half.
“Our first goal was well deserved but then we lost the ball too easily and conceded goals.”