Mueller’s UCL appeal denied; ban upheld v. Liverpool

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Liverpool have been handed a significant boost to their UEFA Champions League hopes, in the form of Thomas Mueller’s two-game European suspension being upheld on Monday.

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The Bayern Munich star was handed his ban after he was sent off in the 75th minute of his side’s group-stage finale against Ajax. Mueller earned the first straight red card of his career for kicking Ajax defender Nicolas Tagliafico in the head. Mueller insisted after the game that he didn’t intentionally kick his opponent.

“No, no, of course I didn’t mean to do it. It wasn’t intentional.”

Bayern appealed the ban ahead of this month’s round-of-16 tie, but UEFA’s Appeals Senate confirmed the 29-year-old German international will most both legs against the current Premier League leaders.

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Mueller was always going to miss the first leg at Anfield (Feb. 19), but Bayern had hoped he would be ruled eligible for the return leg at the Allianz Arena on March 13.