FC Bayern beat AEK Athens 2-0 on Wednesday night, and the Champions League sixteen beckons for Niko Kovac' men. Robert Lewandowski put the Bavarians ahead from the spot after 30 minutes before rounding off his brace midway through the second half.
The German record champions started with Manuel Neuer in goal and Joshua Kimmich, Mats Hummels, Jérôme Boateng and Rafinha in a back four. Martínez filled the holding role behind Serge Gnabry, Thomas Müller, Leon Goretzka and Franck Ribéry, with Lewandowski as sole striker. Rafinha, Renato Sanches and Sandro Wagner took over from Ribéry, Gnabry and Lewandowski in the closing stages.
Dour first half
The 70,000 crowd at the Allianz Arena saw the Bavarians dominate proceedings but struggle against AEK's back five at first. Thomas Müller saw an effort blocked before Vassilis Lampropoulos nodded a header just wide at the other hand. A fine Kimmich cross found Goretzka, whose header was tipped over the bar. The visitors worked tirelessly without the ball, and chances proved few and far between for the next 20 minutes.
Lewandowski was upended in the box on the half-hour and proved a cool customer from the spot, putting Bayern ahead. Müller almost doubled the lead, but his shot was deflected and went wide. The Poland striker miscued following a strong Boateng lob shortly before half-time, but the linesman's flag was raised anyway.
Lewy seals it
Proceedings were similar in the second half. Goretzka connected with another strong Kimmich cross, but visiting netminder Vasilios Barkas proved equal to his volley. After the hour mark Bayern upped the pressure in search of a second goal, but Barkas saved from Lewandowski following a brilliant Martínez through-ball.
Bayern duly doubled the lead when Lewandowski crowned his 100th European appearance, converting a Kimmich corner, but it was telling that both goals came from set-pieces. Gnabry almost closed out the meeting but Barkas made another strong save. Bayern increasingly engaged cruise control now, and with no more presentable chances to come, match official Matej Jug blew for full-time.
The result takes Bayern onto ten points from four matches, two clear of Ajax, who were held to a draw by Benfica. With the Portuguese side on four points, Bayern only need one more point to make it to the last sixteen. The Bavarians will be back in action on Saturday, when they travel to face Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga top clash.
Live match report for fcbayern.com by Greg Salmen
Neuer – Kimmich, Hummels, Boateng, Alaba – Martínez – Gnabry (Sanches 87), Müller, Goretzka, Ribéry (Rafinha 84) – Lewandowski
Ulreich – Wagner, Süle, James, Shabani
Barkas – Bakakis, Lampropoulos, Chygrynskiy, Cosic, Hult – Galanopoulos (Rodrigo Galo 78), Simoes, Alef (Morán 67) – Ponce, Mantalos (Boyé 79)
Tsintotas – Giakoumakis, Gianniotas, Svarnas
Matej Jug (Slovenia)
1-0 Lewandowski (31, pen), 2-0 Lewandowski (71)
- / Cosic, Simoes, Lampropoulos