Bayern cruise past Olympiacos to go through as group winners

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Champions League, Allianz Arena – Bayern Munich 4 (Costa 8 Lewandowski 16 Muller 20 Coman 69) Olympiacos 0

Bayern Munich blew Olympiacos away in the first 20 minutes to qualify for the Champions League knockout stages with a 4-0 win at the Allianz Arena.

Pep Guardiola sent out a remarkably attacking Bayern line-up for the game, knowing that victory would seal top spot in Group F for his side. And his players didn’t let him down, exploding out of the blocks with a display that would have tested even the best defence in the world.

The outstanding Douglas Costa opened the scoring when Olympiacos goalkeeper Roberto could only parry a shot from Jerome Boateng, but there was still plenty to do for the Brazilian, who finished in style into the far corner.

Robert Lewandowski continued his impressive scoring streak on 16 minutes, making it 20 goals in 20 games for his club this season, before Thomas Muller tapped in a third to complete a breath-taking start from the German Champions.

A slight injury concern for Arjen Robben was the only worry to come from the first half for the hosts, but Olympiacos were much improved after the break and forced an error when Holger Badstuber hauled down Brown Ideye as the last defender. It wasn’t much of a foul, but it did deny the striker a one-on-one so the red card was hardly a surprise.

The visitors, however, were unable to take advantage and the ten men of Bayern cruised to a victory that was wrapped up when young winger Kingsley Coman headed home.

It could have been a lot worse for the Greek visitors, who will now turn their attention towards a crunch clash with Arsenal to decide which of the two will progress to the last-16 along with Bayern.

Guardiola

KEY MOMENTS

8’ – GOAL! Bayern 1-0 Olympiacos. Douglas Costa opens the scoring for Bayern. The goalkeeper can only parry a Boateng drive from distance, and Costa tucks away the rebound in the far corner. 1-0.

16’ – GOAL! Bayern 2-0 Olympiacos. Robert Lewandowski makes it 2-0 with an emphatic finish. Coman cuts inside and looks to shoot, but his effort strikes Lewandowski on the way through and breaks nicely for the striker to tee up an effort of his own. 2-0. Too easy.

20’ – GOAL! Bayern 3-0 Olympiacos. Thomas Muller makes it 3-0 to Bayern. This is a rout! Lahm‘s dinked cross is headed back across by Lewandowski to Robben, who in turn opts against going for goal to put it on a plate for Muller. 3-0.

33’ – ROBBEN NIGGLE! Robben has felt a slight twinge and there’s no point risking injury at this stage. Off he goes, with Kimmich coming on.

53’ – RED CARD! Badstuber takes down Brown Ideye as the last man and the referee awards a free-kick and pulls out his red card. That’s a touch harsh perhaps.

68’ – GOAL! Bayern 4-0 Olympiacos. Coman wraps up the win as he nods a header through the keeper’s arms. The Bayern man gets clattered for his trouble, but that was the goal that the hosts needed to remove any lingering concern that Olympiacos might launch a comeback. 4-0.

Roberto and Dimitris

TALKING POINT

Are Bayern the best side in Europe? A certain Spanish side may be making waves at the moment with their star-studded forward line, but Bayern Munich are every bit as good and have the variety of attacking options, control in midfield and defensive stability to make a very good case for being the best team on the continent right now. There’s a long way to go in the season yet, mind, and making sure that this supremely gifted squad is at full throttle when it really counts will be the true test of whether the season can be considered a success or not.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Douglas Costa (Bayern Munich): Freed up to play in a more central role than his usual wide position, Bayern’s stellar summer signing continued his remarkable debut season at the Allianz with his sparkling display, complete with yet another goal. The Brazilian’s pace is astonishing, but it’s his vision and touch that has made him such a huge success since his move. No doubt he’ll be back on the wing for big games to come, but his performance as a central creative player simply showcased what a massive talent he is.

PLAYER RATINGS

Bayern Munich: Neuer 7, Lahm 7, Boateng 7, Badstuber 5, Rafinho 7, Vidal 8, Muller 8, Robben 7, Costa 9, Coman 8, Lewandowski 8. Subs: Kimmich 7, Benatia 6, Martinez 6.

Olympiacos: Roberto 6, Da Costa 5, Elabdellaoui 6, Siovas 5, Masuaku 5, Milivojević 5, Kasami 4, Cambiasso 5, Pardo 5, Sebá 6, Brown 6. Subs: Santos 5,Fortounis 5, Salino 5.

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