Arjen Robben’s rift with Pep Guardiola worsened last night, despite Bayern Munich routing Czech minnows Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League.
The 5-0 victory wasn’t enough to appease the Dutch attacker, who refused to take a first half penalty that Franck Ribery eventually converted.
Robben is said to be seething at Guardiola’s decision to stop him from taking a penalty against Mainz, so Thomas Muller could net instead.
The 29-year-old won the penalty last night having been fouled by Plzen’s Roman Hubnik, but when Guardiola instructed Robben to hit the penalty he refused and offered it to Ribery instead.
Ribery told Sky Germany: “The players wanted him to shoot, but he is still a little mad because of Saturday.”
Guardiola was in defiant mood himself, defending his decision regarding the Muller penalty after the game.
“Yes, Robben wanted to take it,” said the former Barcelona manager.
“Why he did not take it, I don’t know. I like players who want to take penalties. Arjen has a big personality. But the team know why Muller was the one who took it on Saturday.”
The incident was unwelcome on a terrific night for the defending champions, but Robben’s own thoughts on the matter may allow the book to be closed on this particular episode.
“I don’t want to talk about it,” he said. “The case is closed and every word about it is a word too much. The most important thing for me is the support of my team-mates.”
Bayern’s victory continues their 100% record in this season’s Champions League as they lead Group D on nine points.