Munich - Pep Guardiola enjoyed a winning start in his first Champions League
match as Bayern Munich coach as the title-holders saw off CSKA Moscow
3-0 on Tuesday.
WRAP: Champions League
Goals by left-back David Alaba, striker Mario
Mandzukic and Dutch winger Arjen Robben sealed a convincing win as the
defending champions opened their Group D campaign at Munich's Allianz
Austria's Alaba was outstanding throughout, hitting a
pin-point free-kick for the opening goal, then playing a deft chip over
the Moscow defence for Robben to slam home Bayern's third.
Jupp Heynckes led Bayern to the treble of Bundesliga, German Cup and
Champions League last season, Guardiola has been under pressure to
continue that success since taking charge in June.
14 titles in four years at Barcelona -- including the 2009 and 2011
Champions League titles -- the Spaniard has been the centre of much hype
since his arrival in Bavaria.
Having changed Bayern's formation,
Guardiola has won four of his five Bundesliga games so far, despite
missing stars Javi Martinez, Thiago Alcantara and Mario Goetze through
This was arguably Bayern's most polished performance at
home this season, even with vice-captain Bastian Schweinsteiger starting
on the bench as he recovers from an ankle strain.
just four minutes to get on the scoresheet when Alaba floated a
beautiful free-kick over the Moscow wall and out of reach of Moscow
goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev.
A second nearly followed on seven
minutes when a superb pass from right-back Rafinha landed at Mandzukic's
feet with the goal at his mercy, but Akinfeev blocked his shot.
Bayern dominating possession, the hosts peppered the CSKA goal and it
was only a matter of time before the European champions added their
Moments after beating Akinfeev with a powerful header
which cannoned off the woodwork, Mandzukic was the first onto the end of
a Robben free-kick to add the second four minutes from the half-time
Replays showed three Bayern players were offside, but the
relief was palpable on the Munich bench with Guardiola hugging his
CSKA, the Russian league, cup and Super Cup
holders, came out fired up for the second-half, but Leonid Slutski's
side had only limited opportunities.
The Russians enjoyed a good
spell of possession until Bayern added their third when Alaba floated a
lovely pass over the defence to give Robben all the time in the world to
The Dutchman, who scored the winner at Wembley's
final in the 2-1 win over Borussia Dortmund in May, smashed his
68th-minute shot under Akinfeev, who had a busy night in the CSKA goal.
the outcome decided, Moscow threw more players forward and put more
pressure on Bayern's goal, but Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was solid
It was a good start for the champions ahead of their
next group stage match at Manchester City on October 2, the same night
CSKA host Czech champions Viktoria Pilsen in Moscow.