Created on 14-09-2011 at 00:00 AM
Bayern sent out a clear message of intent to the rest of Europe on Wednesday night, marking their 150th appearance in the Champions League with a wholly merited Group A victory over Villarreal. The Spanish side had won their last eight home matches in the elite club competition, but came up short against an on-fire FCB side on a superb run of eight straight wins, with 21 goals scored and not one conceded.
The 15,000 crowd at El Madrigal saw Toni Kroos hand the visitors a dream start just seven minutes into the match, and Manuel Neuer had only two saves to make in the rest of the first period as the men from Munich took the game by the scruff of the neck. If there was to be a criticism of Bayern’s convincing first-half display it was their failure to double the lead, and half-time sub Nils Petersen missed two good chances to do so straight after the restart, before Kroos hit the post with 20 minutes left. Early sub Rafinha finally added the long overdue second with quarter of an hour remaining, and FCB cruised to the finish.
The victory, combined with Manchester City’s 1-1 draw against Napoli, means Bayern go straight to the top the Group A standings after the first match. Munich’s challenging early autumn schedule continues on Sunday with the visit to domestic rivals Schalke, with City visiting the Allianz Arena in the second Champions League fixture a week next Tuesday.