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Hotel briefly evacuated

FCB set up team base in Moscow

Night had already fallen when the Bayern stars arrived in Moscow at 8 pm on Sunday evening, ready for the Champions League group meeting with CSKA two days later. The team transferred directly from the airport to their hotel on Red Square. “We want to win, and I'd almost say we have to win if you look at the constellation in the group,” declared Matthias Sammer prior to take-off from Cologne.

The squad worked out on Sunday morning in the Rhineland and began preparing for the European tie. Several hundred locally-based FCB fans made it a party atmosphere at FC Köln’s training ground and provided a fitting send-off for the 20-man squad when they boarded the plane to Russia in the afternoon.

“We'll continue steadily along our course,” said board director for sport Sammer following the league leaders’ convincing 2–0 victory over Köln on Saturday afternoon. “We're pleased about being top but we remain modest. The season still has a long, long way to go.” The focus now turns to the clash in Moscow. “I'm expecting their players to show a reaction after the heavy defeat against Roma,” continued Sammer, “it'll be fierce, admittedly not in the stands but definitely out on the pitch.”

Team hotel evacuated

Due to racist chanting at the ground last season, UEFA has ordered CSKA to play Tuesday evening's match at the Arena Khimki behind closed doors. “It's an odd situation,” said Sammer, although he refused to allow it as an excuse. “Whether we perform or not cannot be influenced by external factors. We're not a youth team. I'm not expecting any problems.”

However, there was an uncomfortable incident on Sunday evening when the team hotel had to be evacuated due to a fire alarm. The players and coaching staff retired to a nearby restaurant for an unscheduled team-building session before they were cleared to return to their rooms about an hour later.