Created on 22-11-2011 at 00:00 AM
Bayern are through to the Champions League last sixteen as Group A winners with a game to spare. Jupp Heynckes’ men comfortably beat lowly Villarreal at home on Tuesday night, and the result in the parallel fixture went exactly the way Munich wanted as chief rivals Manchester City lost away to Napoli, meaning FCB can no longer be caught at the top of what was widely regarded as a proverbial Group of Death.
The 66,000 full house at the Allianz Arena saw the home side roar off the blocks and take a two-goal lead through Franck Ribery and Mario Gomez. FCB were clearly superior to their opponents in every respect and cruised to half-time, but were sharply reminded not to let up at this level when Jonathan de Guzman pulled one back out of the blue five minutes after the restart.
A displeased Heynckes gesticulated wildly from the touchline, and the excellent Ribery responded with Munich’s third 20 minutes from time. The men in red now tightened their grip and never looked in danger again as they maintained their excellent European form with a fourth win in five group fixtures.
The result takes FCB onto 13 points, and with Napoli beating City 2-1, Bayern can no longer be knocked off top spot in Group A, as the Reds are five points clear of the Italians and six ahead of the Premier League side. The Bavarians’ final fixture is away to City on 7 December, but Ribery and Co are next in action on Sunday evening in a Bundesliga trip to Mainz.