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Four out of four

Best-ever Champions League start for FCB

Bayern have set a new club record by winning their first four matches in this season’s Champions League. Wednesday night’s comprehensive 4-0 victory away to Romanian double winners CFR Cluj means Munich maintain their perfect opening to the competition, and simultaneously represents FCB’s best-ever start in Europe’s elite club contest.

Since the launch of the Champions League in 1992, the Bavarians have opened with three victories on three previous occasions, in 1997-8, 2005-6 and most recently in 2006-7. A total of four wins also matches the club’s best achievement in the Champions League group stage. Last season’s finalists have managed the feat twice, in 2001-2 and in 2008-9.

Van Gaal chasing personal best

With fixtures away to AS Roma on 23 November and at home to FC Basel on 8 December still to come, Munich are poised to join the elite group of clubs who have racked up six wins out of six at the group stage, and also to claim a little domestic prestige: the German Champions League record is held by Borussia Dortmund with five group wins and one defeat in 1997-8.

Since the introduction of the Champions League, only four clubs have won all six of their group fixtures: AC Milan (1992-3), Paris St. Germain (1994-5), Spartak Moscow (1995-6) and Barcelona (2002-3). The Catalans’ coach at the time was Louis van Gaal.