New-look Bayern end group stage in style with 3-0 win
11 December 2014, 10:04
Munich - Already qualified Bayern Munich beat CSKA Moscow 3-0 with another dominant performance on Wednesday to complete their fifth win in six Champions League Group E games and leave the Russians bottom of the table and out of Europe.
A new-look Bayern side featured teenagers Gianluca Gaudino and Pierre Hojbjerg alongside Bastian Schweinsteiger, making his first start of the season after a lengthy injury absence.
With Xabi Alonso and Arjen Robben on the bench, Bayern, who had secured top spot in Group E with two games to spare, never hit top form.
Thomas Mueller scored his 24th in the comeptition from the spot in the 18th minute to become Bayern's record Champions League goalscorer ahead of Mario Gomez.
Sebastian Rode headed in his first Champions League goal following a fine move in the 84th before Mario Goetze added another in the 90th.
The result leaves Bayern top with 15 points, a club record, and CSKA Moscow, who had keeper Igor Akinfeev to thank for keeping the score respectable, bottom on five. Manchester City snatched second spot with a 2-0 victory at Roma.
"I am proud of the team," said Bayern coach Pep Guardiola, who made five changes to the side that beat Bayer Leverkusen four days ago and started with striker Robert Lewandowski and Rafinha on the bench.
"We were outstanding and in every game played better than each of our group opponents."
The Russians were up against it going into the match, needing a win to have any chance of qualifying, and Seydou Doumbia almost put them ahead after six minutes with a header that went narrowly wide.
Bayern immediately stepped on the gas and Franck Ribery made their dominance count when he was brought down after a swift turn in the box, with Mueller firing home from the spot.
Also read: Nasri and Neymar stunners seal the deal for City and Barca
Doumbia should have levelled with a sensational solo run that saw him dribble past six Bayern players only for keeper Manuel Neuer to deny the Ivorian.
Schweinsteiger, making his first start in a competitive game since the World Cup final in July, almost got a second for Bayern but Akinfeev, who has failed to keep a clean sheet in 27 consecutive Champions League games since 2006, tipped his shot over the bar.
Robben, on for the injured Ribery in the second half, instantly added pace and was twice denied by Akinfeev as he tore into the Russian defence.
Lewandowski hit the post before Rode nodded in to seal their win with six minutes to go.
Goetze then chipped in Bayern's third at the end leaving CSKA coach Leonid Slutski ruing missed opportunities early in the game.
"In the first half we had some good chances to score," he told reporters. "You do not get many chances against a team like Bayern and we did not make the best of the ones we did have."