Bayern Munich overrun Rostov in Champions League

Munich, Sep 14 (IANS) FC Bayern Munich made a successful start to their 2016/17 Champions League football campaign, outclassing FC Rostov 5-0, with midfielder Joshua Kimmich scoring a brace in the second-half at the Allianz Arena.

Robert Lewandowski on Tuesday evening netted from the spot before birthday boy Thomas Müller doubled the lead shortly before the interval. Kimmich nicked a third after the break before rounding off a brace on the hour mark.

Substitute Juan Bernat made it five with the final whistle imminent as the Bavarians set a new record along the way — Tuesday’s victory was their 13th consecutive win in a Champions League home match.

The record German champions lined up with Manuel Neuer in goal behind a defensive unit comprising Rafinha, Mats Hummels, Javi Martínez and David Alaba. Arturo Vidal, Kimmich and Thiago featured in midfield, with Müller, Douglas Costa and Lewandowski in the forward line.

Bernat replaced Hummels, who took a boot to his face in the first half, shortly after the break. Franck Ribéry came on for Costa, who turned in an excellent display including two assists, before Renato Sanches took over from Thiago.

The 71,000 capacity crowd at the Allianz Arena saw the hosts control the meeting from the kick-off. Carlo Ancelotti’s troops tried to crack the Russian visitors’ back five with crosses from both sides at first, but failed to create chances against three tall full-backs in the box.

Lewandowski was hauled down in the box following a corner and slotted home the ensuing penalty midway through the first half.

Müller, who turned 27 on Tuesday, doubled the lead, beating the visitors’ rearguard to an angled Costa cross in the dying stages of the first half.

Bayern showed no signs of easing up in the second half. Chances were coming thick and fast for the Bavarians now as their superior fitness began to tell.

Kimmich drove home another well-placed Costa cross shortly after the break. The defensive all-rounder then topped his already excellent Bundesliga display against Schalke, completing his brace with a sumptuous header after a Bernat set-piece and swelling his September goal tally to four. Bernat rounded off the scoreline shortly before the final whistle.

The victory means Bayern top Group D, equal on points with Atlético who won 1-0 away to Eindhoven.

Bayern’s next Champions League opponents will be Atlético in Madrid on September 28.

–IANS

pur/vt

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