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‘I just gave it a go’

Deadly David wows fans and team-mates

The new Champions League season began the way the previous one finished, with a Bayern goal. Barely three minutes had been played between the Reds and CSKA Moscow on Tuesday evening before David Alaba crashed home a 30-yard free-kick with his favoured left foot. The Allianz Arena erupted in joy, but after the match, the Austrian was his typical, modest self: “I just gave it a go. It was a good distance, and luckily, it went in," he deadpanned.

Tuesday night's strike was Alaba's second goal for the club this season. Last term, the Austrian put away a similar long-range effort, handing Munich an early 1–0 lead in the quarter-final against Juventus. “Naturally, I work hard on that shot in training," revealed Alaba, who was buried under a scrum of his grinning team-mates after the goal. “We were having a bit of a laugh, because the lads are always telling me I only need to get it on target, and you never know what might happen," said the 21-year-old in his characteristically ironic Vienna accent.

The Bayern left-back, who also scored a vital goal for Austria in a recent World Cup qualifier against Ireland, went on to earn plaudits for the assist from which Arjen Robben made the score 3-0 in the 68th minute. Nor was it just any old assist: David conjured up a superb lobbed pass, wrong footing the entire CSKA defence. As Robben said: “I just had to keep my cool and finish it off. It was a superb ball."

Arjen said he had anticipated Alaba playing the delicate lob. “I saw it in his eyes," the Dutch superstar insisted. Man of the Match Alaba was his normal self when he described the moment of magic. “I basically looked up and took a spontaneous decision. It was one of my very few options, and fortunately it worked out." And that's how simple football can be.

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