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Champions League: Roma 1 Bayern Munich 7

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A ruthless Bayern Munich scored five goals in the first 36 minutes on their way to an astonishing 7-1 Champions League win at Roma that left the home players and supporters stunned.

Arjen Robben scored twice and Mario Götze, Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Müller, from the penalty spot, also chipped in before half-time as the visitors exploited the many gaps left by the Roma defence in the Group E match.

Gervinho pulled one back for Roma after half-time only for further goals from substitute Franck Ribery and Xherdan Shaqiri to give Bayern their biggest away win in Europe, while Roma equalled their heaviest defeat.

It was Bayern’s 12th match without defeat in all competitions and put them top of the group, with nine points from three games, five clear of Roma. Manchester City have two points and CSKA Moscow one.

“It was a technical collapse, not a mental one,” said the Roma coach, Rudi Garcia, whose last match against Bayern ended in a 6-1 rout when he was coach of Lille two seasons ago.

“The first person to make a mistake was myself. I got the strategy wrong. In the second half, we showed some pride and would have scored more goals if it hadn’t been for their goalkeeper.”

“I’m upset for our fans,” added the midfielder Daniele De Rossi, whose side must visit Bayern in two weeks’ time. “The city had waited so long for this game.”

The Bayern coach, Pep Guardiola, said: “This game is an exception, an incident. It’s not the difference between the two teams, we will see that in two weeks.

“We have a few things to improve and one of them is that we gave Roma too many chances at the start of the second half.”

Robben opened the floodgates in the ninth minute when he collected the ball on the edge of the area, jinked inside Ashley Cole and effortlessly curled his shot past Morgan De Sanctis.

The Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer stopped Gervinho’s shot two minutes later, preventing a goal that could have dramatically changed the course of the game, and from then on it was all Bayern.

Götze exchanged passes with Müller and wrong-footed De Sanctis from the edge of the area in the 23rd minute, then Lewandowksi, unmarked, headed in Juan Bernat’s cross two minutes later, with the Roma coach, Rudi García, in an apparent state of shock on the bench.

The goals kept coming as Robben got in behind Cole to fire the fourth on the half-hour and Müller converted a penalty after a handball by Kostas Manolas five minutes later.

Roma were less submissive after half-time and Gervinho, having hit the post and been denied again by Neuer, finally pulled one back in the 66th minute.

Bayern, however, were irresistible and Ribery, soon after coming on, ran on to Robben’s through-ball and chipped De Sanctis before Shaqiri completed the scoring from close range. – The Guardian

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