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Bayern 4 BATE Borisov 1

Authoritative FCB ease to group victory

Bayern went into Wednesday’s final Champions League Group F fixture at home to BATE Borisov knowing a win would seal top spot in the section – and the Bundesliga leaders duly accomplished the task at hand, comfortably winning an eventful meeting with the Belarus champions 4-1 after both sides lost a man in the second half.

The 68,000 who defied the winter chill to pack the Allianz Arena to its all-seated capacity saw Jupp Heynckes’ reshuffled side batter away at the packed Borisov defence and take the lead midway through the first half courtesy of a stabbed Mario Gomez finish. Bayern were more than comfortable in the opening 45 minutes, but the game took an unlikely twist five minutes after the restart when Jerome Boateng was shown an exceptionally harsh red card by Scottish referee William Collum.

The Reds served up the perfect reply when Thomas Müller added a second goal just three minutes later, Xherdan Shaqiri making it three with a 66th-minute header. The visitors were themselves reduced to ten men after Denis Polyakov’s second bookable offence 20 minutes from the end, before sub David Alaba scored FCB’s fourth with a fine shot on the turn seven minutes from time. Yegor Filipenko netted a last-minute consolation for the visitors,

A final Group F record of four wins, a draw and a defeat means FCB top the section on 13 points, level with Valencia following the Spaniards’ 1-0 win away to bottom club Lille in the parallel fixture, but ahead of the La Liga side on the head-to-head comparison. FCB return to action in the Bundesliga this Saturday in the all-Bavarian trip to second-from-bottom Augsburg.