MUNICH, Germany (AFP) – Bayern Munich ended CSKA Moscow’s already slender hopes of advancing to the Champions League knockout stage with a 3-0 victory on Wednesday.
The Russians were outplayed in every department and it was a surprise that only Thomas Mueller’s first-half penalty separated the sides before late strikes by Sebastian Rode and Mario Goetze put a more realistic hue on the final scoreline.
With Manchester City beating Roma 2-0 in the Italian capital, it spelt the end of the road for CSKA in Group E and they did not even have the consolation of a Europa League place.
Bayern coach Pep Guardiola commented: “We took this game very seriously and all the players were up to the mark.”
He added: “I’m very proud of the whole team, we’ve only lost one Champions League match but in each game we were better than the opposition.”
With influential German midfielder Bastien Schweinsteiger making his first start of the season, and his first since the World Cup final in Brazil, Bayern came out of the starting blocks with a vengeance.
CSKA were pegged back in their own half for most of the match and the statistics showed that Bayern were so much
in control that the Russians saw barely 30 percent of possession.
Even so, CSKA’s prolific Ivorian striker Seydou Doumbia squandered a clear-cut early chance to give the visitors the lead, when he rose well to meet Roman Eremenko’s cross from the right but his header flashed wide of the far post.
With CSKA packing their penalty area, Bayern made the crucial breakthrough in the 17th minute after Betras Natchko felled French winger Franck Ribery in the box and after some hesitation, Portuguese referee Olegário Benquerenca pointed to the spot.
Mueller, as cool as ever, stepped up and fired the ball low to the right of CSKA ‘keeper Igor Akinfeev, just as he had in the corresponding fixture in Moscow earlier in the competition.
CSKA should have levelled five minutes later and again Doumbia was the culprit, after wriggling his way through the Bayern defence, shooting tamely at goalkeeper Manuel Neuer’s legs.