5th November, 2014
Bayern Munich confirmed both their place in the Champions League knock-out phase and status as Group E winners with two games to spare after Wednesday’s 2-0 win over Roma.
Goals by France winger Franck Ribery and Germany’s Mario Goetze sealed the win which put the Bavarians in the last 16 as group winners with a perfect 12 points so far.
Bayern collected their fourth straight group-stage win to give them an unassailable eight-point lead before their remaining group matches at bottom side Manchester City and home to CSKA Moscow next month.
Despite losing to Bayern home and away, Roma are still primed to join Munich in the knock-out phase as they stay second in the group, but level on four points with CSKA whom they play away in three weeks.
As Bayern coach Pep Guardiola had predicted, the hosts encountered a far more robust Roma defence compared to their record 7-1 routing of the Italians in Rome a fortnight ago.
Ribery gave Bayern a first-half lead at the Allianz Arena after 38 minutes having also scored in the first-leg romp.
Goetze then netted their second with a goal reminiscent of his World Cup final winning-effort when he flicked on Robert Lewandowski’s second-half cross to put the result beyond doubt after 64 minutes.
Guardiola even took the luxury of resting stars Thomas Mueller, Arjen Robben and Dante, while Roma needed more than 80 minutes to produce a single clear chance.
Bayern nevertheless endured a frustrating first 45 minutes, played predominantly in the Roma half, before Ribery struck.
There was to be no repeat of the 5-0 half-time scoreline Bayern had posted in the first-leg.
Goetze squandered an early chance just to the left of the goal on 18 minutes, then Bayern captain Philipp Lahm forced Roma goalkeeper Lukasz Skorupski into a save on 22 minutes.
Bayern got the breakthrough they had long been threatening when Ribery completed the move he started, curling his shot in off the right-hand post.
He released David Alaba on the left and the Austrian international produced a superb return pass to find Ribery on the edge of the area as he sprinted onto the ball at pace to give Skorupski no chance.
Bayern kept up the pressure after the break with right-wing Juan Bernat firing at Skorupski in the half’s opening exchanges while Alaba headed over.
Bayern’s second came when Poland striker Robert Lewandowski found his ex-Borussia Dortmund team-mate Goetze in the middle and the attacking midfielder looped his chip over Skoprupski on 64 minutes.
Bayern’s Manuel Neuer was finally tested in the 84th minute when Roma’s Radja Nainggolan unleashed a fierce drive which forced the Germany goalkeeper into a diving save.