Pep Guardiola ‘proud of the whole team’ after Bayern Munich dominate CSKA
The Russians were outplayed in every department and it was a surprise that only Thomas Muller’s first-half penalty separated the sides before late strikes by Sebastian Rode and Mario Gotze put a more realistic hue on the final scoreline.
With Manchester City beating AS 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 Bastian 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 per cent of possession.
Even so, CSKA’s prolific Ivorian striker Seydou Doumbia squandered a clearcut 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 Olegario Benquerenca pointed to the spot.
Muller, 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.
The introduction of Arjen Robben and Robert Lewandowski at the break, for Muller and Ribery, served only to underline Bayern’s superiorty as they continued to take the game to CSKA.
But the Russians were not done yet, and Ahmed Musa carved out a glorious chance to level on 68 minutes as he broke clear on the left but his final touch was recklessly wide of Neuer’s right post.
Bayern finally put the game beyond CSKA in the 83rd minute with the second goal they had been threatening for most of the second half, as Roder had the easy task of tapping in Schweinsteiger’s cross after a deft back-heel from Jerome Boateng.
At the death, World Cup-winning goalscorer Gotze rounded it off a minute from time when he ghosted in and slid the ball home into an empty net.
Schweinsteiger, who played his first full game of the campaign, said: “Obviously I’m delighted to have played from the start and it was a joy to play in front of our fans again.”
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Published: December 11, 2014 04:00 AM