BAYERN Munich eased past AS Roma 2-0 with goals from Franck RibÃ©ry and Mario GÃ¶tze on Wednesday to advance to the Champions League knockout stage as Group E winners with two games to spare. RibÃ©ry scored seven minutes before the break and GÃ¶tze volleyed home midway through the second half as the impressive Bavarians notched their fourth win in four matches.
Undefeated in the Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup this season, Bayern also secured top spot with two games left to play, collecting a maximum 12 points. Roma, desperate to avoid a repeat of their 7-1 home demolition by Bayern this month, kept pace for almost the entire first half but were eventually outclassed and remain in second place on four points.
With Arjen Robben ruled out of the game due to a stomach bug the coach, Pep Guardiola, opted to leave Thomas MÃ¼ller on the bench and named RibÃ©ry for only his second start of the season. The Italians, who left both Francesco Totti and their top scorer, Gervinho, on the bench, were disciplined at the back, working extremely hard to keep the Germans away from their box.
Bayernâ€™s Juan Bernat went close in the 17th minute but his shot was cleared at the last instant by Vasilis Torosidis and Philipp Lahmâ€™s shot was easily blocked by Lukasz Skorupski. Romaâ€™s best chance fell to Radja Nainggolan who broke clear but, with only Manuel Neuer to beat, scuppered his chance with a bad first touch.
But it all changed when RibÃ©ry beautifully turned in David Alabaâ€™s cut-back in the 38th minute. With Roma forced to come forward Bayern found space much more easily and came close with Alaba and Mehdi Benatia early in the second half.
GÃ¶tze was left unmarked and killed off the game with an awkward volley in the 64th minute as Bayern extended their unbeaten run to 16 matches in all competitions. – The Guardian