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UEFA Champions League
October 23, 2013
• Allianz-Arena, München
Referee: A. Kelly
• Attendance: 68000
F. Ribéry 25', 61'
D. Alaba 37'
B. Schweinsteiger 64'
M. Götze 90'+
That's my cue folks, hope you've had as good a time as Bayern did tonight. Bye for now.
A superb and professional game from Bayern, who trample all over poor Plzen. Ribery stole the show with his brace, as Alaba, Schweinsteiger and Gotze added the others, in what could have easily been a double digit scoreline. Plzen did not manage a single shot, and have no points to show for their three group games, with their qualification hopes just about murdered. Nothing of the sort can be said about Bayern though, who are lording over the group with a three point lead over Manchester City.
90' + 4'
Bayern threaten a last-ditch six as Gotze squares up at the near post, but his cross is right at Kozacik. And that's all she wrote!
90' + 2'
Pizarro forces Kozacik to work one more time with a piledriver, but it's straight in the keeper's line of sight, and he parries.
90' + 1'
90' + 1'
Lovely little ball from Robben towards the far post. Rajtoral is made a fool out of as Gotze drifts in behind him with ease, before neatly blasting the ball home!
90' + 1'
GOTZE ADDS NUMBER FIVE!
90' + 1'
Into the first of three minutes of added time to close off this contest.
NEARLY A FIFTH! In comes the cross from Gotze on the left, and up goes Schweini hanging in the air above Hubnik, but he plants his header right at Kozacik, who should have had no chance!
Contento hacks away a loose Plzen ball into the box. The 23-year-old left back has not had a thing to worry about today in his adopted position in the heart of Bayern's defence.
Kozacik is given a dumb yellow card for time wasting, of all things. C'mon ref.
Yellow CardMatus Kozacik
Muller comes close twice in twenty seconds to poking in a fifth goal at the near post; the first chance was blocked, and the second stabbed just wide.
Incredible statistics coming in that show just how dominant Bayern have been; they've mustered 29 efforts, with 17 of those on target. Plzen, by comparison, have had exactly zero shots of any kind all game (via Uefa).
Pizarro get the ball in a splendid position just inside the box from Muller, but a swarm of white shirts surround him. The ball is just asking for a touch to release the completely unmarked Robben on the right, but the Peruvian, under severe pressure, cannot oblige.
The rarest of rare sightings, a touch for Neuer! It's only a goalkick, mind, but the keeper's probably pleased as punch to finally have something to do.
Bayern finally taking their foot off the accelerator ever so slightly. If they were so inclined, the home side could double their current lead before all is said and done. Plzen look absolutely spent.
Kroos strikes relatively off the mark from a sumptuous position at the top of the D. Not quite the end to that chance that many would have expected.
Gotze and Robben go gallivanting down their favorite left flank, but the former's shot is blocked. The ball is quickly recovered though, and whipped in to the dome of Pizarro, whose header is right at Kozacik! An inch either side, and 5-0.
Probably the play of the match from a Plzen perspective, as the substitute Duris holds off trouble excellently from Robben and Alaba, before playing to Prochazka, who promptly loses the ball. What a waste.
Looks like Claudio Pizarro will be the last one to the party, as Guardiola prepares to use his final change. No one in a Bayern shirt will want to come off, the good times are rolling at the Allianz Arena.
On comes Muller, and off goes the effervescent, transcendent Ribery. What a game from him. Bow down you mere mortals.
A rare Plzen attack breaks down, and here come Bayern! It's like watching the running of the bulls, as blue and black shirts aplenty storm forward. They're all queuing up for the finish, and eventually it's Gotze who takes it a little too close to the byeline before clipping the top of the crossbar!
Another splendid, splendid goal from Bayern, just as special as Ribery's moments ago. Gotze, barely on the pitch for a beat, takes the ball down the right and plays into Schweinsteiger, 10 yards out. With two men on him, the midfielder frees himself with a fantastic turn, before ripping an unstoppable finish home!
SCHWEINI MAKES IT FOUR!
Gotze makes his appearance for Lahm. Good shift from the skipper, but hardly the most challenging.
What seemed like a botched Bayern counter after some good work by Mandzukic is recovered in superb fashion. Robben gets the ball to Ribery on that left flank once again. The Frenchman fools two defenders into thinking he's going right, before quickly changing direction and shifting down the outside. His finish, a lovely clip over Kozacik, is just reward for some majestic play!
RIBERY ADDS A MAGNIFICENT THIRD!
PLZEN HAVE A CHANCE! PLZEN HAVE A CHANCE! Well, not really, but it's the visitors' best sight on goal of the game. A long ball finds Kolar, who has been putting in a thankless shift up front, and he manages to bundle his way into some space before Contento eventually hacks clear.
BAYERN SCO...BUT NO! It's ruled out! An absolutely spellbinding link up sequence from Robbery on the left sees the Frenchman put through to the byeline, where he squares for Mandzukic to tap home! But the Croatian is supremely lazy, not even bothering to get himself onside, and the effort is correctly flagged off! If I was Ribery, I would have been furious.
The godlike Ribery takes two Plzen troglodytes out of the equation on the left with a stupendous dribble, before laying off neatly to Schweinstieger at the top of the box. Basti steadies himself before bending a nifty little effort towards the bottom corner, but it's just a foot or so off number three!
Not quite tiki-taka, but far more patient stuff from the home side since they emerged from the break. Still, they're sapping what's left in Plzen's tank by drawing the visitors into the wrong end of a game of cat and mouse.
A rare sight as pressure from Kolar and Horava see Bayern forced back into their own territory. In fact, no less than six blue and black shirts have retreated behind the halfway line to hold onto the ball! Should Plzen do a lap of honour?
Bayern continue to strangle the life out of Plzen by holding onto the ball, but they've not yet flicked that ruthless switch on since returning from the break. The visitors enduring an uneasy respite as on the touchline, Gotze is being put through his paces.
Limbersky has been cautioned for tripping up Robben for the 134234234th time.
Yellow CardDavid Limbersky
No changes at the break for either side, which is more surprising from the visitors' point of view. It's hard to see how Vrba can swap things around tactically either, as his two central midfielders Horvath and Prochazka have dropped so deep that Plzen essentially have a back six.
We're back in action folks, Plzen get the game restarted.
Plzen quite frankly can thank their lucky stars that they're only two goals down. Ribery and Alaba did the damage in the first half for the hosts, who were denied far more by the return to European form of black-sheep goalkeeper Kozacik, after a nervy start to the game. Pavel Vrba may look to shuffle his pack at the break, but that may have all the effect of deciding whether to bust out a butter knife or icepick against an M60. Stay tuned for the restart in just a bit.
45' + 1'
Just a sole minute of added time, as Ribery drills a speculative attempt rather wide. And that's it for the half!
More comfortable this time for Kozacik, as Kroos gets hold of a shot extremely well, but cannot direct it anywhere but at the Plzen stopper, who smothers.
Kozacik has adrenaline coursing through his system at the moment, he makes another clutch save to deflect a surefire goal away for a corner, before rising highest to pluck the resulting delivery out of the air!
ANOTHER FANTASTIC SAVE BY KOZACIK! Kroos delivers a peach of a cross right on the six yard line, and Robben somehow rises above his marker to head towards the far side, but the Plzen keeper shows magnificent reflexes to palm the ball away! Who was the idiot who said that it was a surprise that he started today?
The irrepressible Robben nearly wizards his way into a third Bayern goal, leaving Limbersky in a heap, before clipping a ball across the six yard area that is just about deflected away from the hungry Mandzukic at the far post!
Mandzukic set that one in motion with a typically dominant knockdown against Reznik. Alaba laps up the ball, and strides across the box past a static Plzen back four, before stabbing the ball neatly across into the opposite bottom corner!
ALABA MAKES IT 2-0!
Robben advances on the terrified Limbersky, who backs off and allows him to square a pass to the storming Schweinsteiger at the top of the box. Basti lets fly with some venom, but Kozacik saves (not entirely convincingly), before Kroos attacks the rebound...from an offside position.
Plzen have managed to stem the tide ever so slightly, holding Bayern to just under 60 per cent possession in the last few minutes. Hey, you take whatever little victories you can get, right?
Alaba is really plundering and marauding down the left flank. His partnership with Ribery has been sublime to watch, especially with the Frenchman's ability to draw the Austrian's marker, then slip him through in space.
Robben pulls his trademark move, cutting in from the right onto his left peg before firing away, but its right at Kozacik who makes a much more comfortable save to the one he pulled off moments ago.
WHAT A SAVE! Robben takes charge of a Bayern corner, and picks out the relatively easy target of Van Buyten in the box. The Belgian behemoth heads it powerfully, it's going in, but Kozacik dives to his left to deny Bayern in incredibly athletic fashion. Kozacik my friend, all is forgiven.
Ribery with a spring in his step, making the most of a cavernous gap in the middle to make up 30 yards on goal, before deftly slipping in Mandzukic. The Croatian takes Limbersky out of the equation with a neat cut, before slapping the ball off Kozacik, who covered his near post well!
Hubnik by the way was booked for conceding that spot kick. Is that the one that opens the floodgates?
Penalty GoalFranck Ribéry
No mistake! Kozacik dived correctly to his bottom left corner, but Ribery struck that one with purpose, beating the keeper with sheer power!
Yellow CardRoman Hubnik
Robben is not one to be daunted by bodies in the box, and goes weaving in and out of traffic in the right side of the box. It seems only a matter of time before he pulls the trigger, but Hubnik catches him late, and Robben makes sure of the decision by falling theatrically. Ribery to take...
Lahm breaks up a tedious spell of Bayern possession at the top of the box that did not seem to be heading anywhere in any particular hurry. The skipper launches one towards goal from all of 30 yards, but all he does is make the ball boys work.
Do my eyes deceive me, or have Plzen just crossed the halfway line! Not to worry folks, Limbersky is soon isolated on the left flank, as Van Buyten steps out of his spot to intercept. Still, the way things have gone for the visitors so far, that's a moment to cheer.
Just under 20 minutes gone, so here's a little stat check for those who want a measure of the game. Bayern with nine shots to Plzen's zero, three of those on target. The hosts have also held the ball for 81 per cent of the time (via Uefa).
For a side that is camped in their own half, Ribery sure had an awful lot of space to saunter right through the centre of midfield. Advancing to the top of the box, he spots Alaba in acres of space on the left, and duly feeds him. The Austrian then lets fly, but its right at Kozacik, who still needs two touches to harness that stinger!
The Czech side had to slog through three qualifying rounds to be here, beating sides from Bosnia, Estonia and Slovenia. But this, my dear minnows, is another level entirely. Forget jumping into the deep end, this is like walking the plank in the middle of the Atlantic.
Neuer could probably get the weekly crossword done back there, not only has he had nothing at all to do, but Plzen, to my reckoning, have not even crossed the halfway line with the ball. The Bayern keeper has been spotted strolling to the centre circle.
Ribery is just toying with Reznik on the left side, it's almost painful to watch. He nearly makes the right back tear a groin with a weaving dribble, and after freeing himself, fires in a low cross towards the near post. This time, it sticks in Kozacik's grateful arms.
Kozacik must have nude photos of someone important in Plzen, his baffling mistake against CSKA would have been enough to get even Lev Yashin dropped. But he's won a starting spot again, and true to form, is making a hash of every little thing that comes his way.
AND ANOTHER CHANCE! Bayern are really flexing their muscles here. Alaba's hopeful little clip is nodded out of the air by the spring-loaded Mandzukic,, whose knock down is stabbed on the slide by the Dutchman, but just wide!
Kozacik with a textbook case of butterfingers, spilling a perfectly saveable Kroos shot right into the zone of Mandzukic, but he seems as surprised as anyone by the keeper's bumble, missing the target.
ALABA! The Austrian jack of all trades shoos Robben to one side, and bends it towards goal, where Cisovsky bails out the fretting Kozacik to head away. From the resulting corner, Van Buyten towers over all and sundry, but misses the target rather meekly.
Early trouble for the visitors, as they stupidly give away a needless free kick in a prime spot 25 yards from goal. Robben and Alaba are having a little pow wow over this one...
Here we go people...the ref gets the game underway.
Right, the coin has been flipped, the teams have shaken hands, the anthem has been sung. It's all set folks...
Speaking of CSKA, they were given a run for their money all the way in that game against Plzen a few weeks ago. But their luck ran out earlier today, as they dropped to their second defeat in the group stages when Manchester City squeezed out a 2-1 win in Russia. That leaves City with six points from three, level with Bayern, who can put some real daylight at the top of the group if they do what's expected of them today.
Pavel Vrba meanwhie must have had a nice long chat with Roman Hubnik, his starting defender who has plenty of experience with this recent incarnation of Bayern, having played for three years with Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga from 2010 to 2013. David Limbersky has been stapled together in time to start after a thigh problem, and there's even a spot for Matus Kozacik between the posts, despite his huge blunder that cost them a result against CSKA Moscow in the previous matchday.
Pep goes for the dull and predictable as far as the selection for the rest of his XI goes. Mario Mandzukic leading the line, Robbery on the flanks, hell, even Philipp Lahm in the midfield has become blah blah boring. The Bavarians have too much quality gushing out of every orifice. Thomas Muller, Mario Gotze and Javi Martinez have to settle for the bench.
So with Dante joining Jerome Boateng and Holger Badstuber on the injury list, Pep Guardiola has himself a serious lack of options in the centre of his defence. So what does he do? Stick Diego Contento in there, of course! Too bad for Jan Kirchoff, who gets beaten out to a central defensive spot by a left-back by trade. Perhaps Pep thought that one lumbering behemoth in Daniel van Buyten was enough.
PLZEN (4-2-3-1): Kozacik; Reznik, Cisovsky, Hubnik, Limbersky; Horvath, Prochazka; Rajtoral, Horava, Petraela; Kolar.
BAYERN (4-1-4-1): Neuer; Rafinha, Van Buyten, Contento, Alaba; Lahm; Schweinsteiger, Ribery, Kroos, Robben; Mandzukic.
Lineups have been confirmed.
Hello, and welcome to the Allianz Arena, where Bayern Munich are set to lock horns with Viktoria Plzen in about half an hour. Stay with me, Keeghann Sinanan, for the blow-by-blow account of tonight's game!
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