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Bayern 2 FC Zürich 0

Group stage beckons as FCB outclass Zürich

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Bayern will take a comforting lead into next Tuesday’s Champions League play-off return at the Letzigrund stadium after easing past FC Zürich in Wednesday night’s home leg, but for all Munich’s undoubted superiority, the tie is a long way from over yet, as Jupp Heynckes’ side were a shade careless with a host of late chances against tired opponents, who finished a man down after Mathieu Beda’s late dismissal.

The 66,000 capacity crowd at the Allianz Arena saw Bastian Schweinsteiger head the Bundesliga giants into an eighth-minute lead, but the men from Zürich settled to the task at hand and the home side’s attacking efforts decreased in intensity as the first half wore on.

FCB were transformed after the break as the chances came thick and fast, and although Franck Ribery saw his free-kick come back off the post, Arjen Robben curled the second with 20 minutes to play. Munich battered away at the FCZ goal but the third, tie-killing strike would simply not come as a string of chances went begging.

Nevertheless, the win means FCB will approach next week’s second leg in Switzerland confident of completing the European qualifying job, although Munich are next in action on Saturday afternoon when Hamburg visit the Bavarian capital for the third Bundesliga fixture of the 2011/12 season.