Champions League

Bayern sneak past CSKA

2014-09-30 20:06
Thomas Müller (AFP)

Moscow -  A first-half penalty by Thomas Müller was sufficient for Bayern Munich to beat Russian champions CSKA Moscow on Tuesday and make it two wins from two matches in their Champions League group stage campaign.

Bayern, winners in 2013 but beaten by eventual champions Real Madrid in the semi-finals last season, have six points from two games, with Italian side Roma able to join them if they beat English champions Manchester City later on Tuesday.

CSKA have no points from two matches after receiving no boost from the home support for this game as the crowd were banned after unrest during the group game with Viktoria Plzen last season led UEFA to impose a ban.

Bayern coach Pep Guardiola, whose week had started along with his players on a disruptive note as they had to vacate their hotel room, after a fire alarm went off in the middle of the night, said that he was pleased with the result given CSKA had just come out with the ambition of defending.

"It was really difficult to penetrate the CSKA defence today as they kept 10 of their players back with only (Ahmed) Musa in attack," said Guardiola.

"However, we allowed them to produce two dangerous counter-attacks in the first half. Luckily, they did not score.

"The Champions League matches are always hard and we're happy to take all three points in this encounter."

Five-time European champions Bayern got the break their early pressure deserved when Mario Goetze was brought down by Mario Fernandes in the 21st minute, although there was a doubt as to whether the offence took place outside the box, but Scottish referee William Collum pointed straight to the spot.

However, Müller paid no attention to the fuss or to the pleas from the sidelines as Guardiola urged Robert Lewandowski to take the penalty. The German international stepped up and converted the spot kick.

CSKA did brighten up after going behind and threatened through Nigerian forward Ahmed Musa, but Manuel Neuer got down well to block and when Musa squared the ball to Zoran Tosic, the Serbian blazed wastefully over.

The hosts went close to levelling twice more in the first half, on both occasions through the impressive Roman Eremenko, who turned brilliantly and unleashed a sweetly-struck shot that just went over the bar.

Then, close to half-time, the 27-year-old Russian-born Finnish international fired in a shot from the edge of the area which clipped the stanchion with Neuer beaten.

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