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UEFA Champions League

  • 22 November 2011
  • • 19:45
  • • Allianz-Arena, München
  • Referee: M. Strömbergsson
  • • Attendance: 66000

Bayern Munich 3-1 Villarreal: Franck Ribery scores brace as hosts secure top spot in Champions League Group A

Bayern Munich 3-1 Villarreal: Franck Ribery scores brace as hosts secure top spot in Champions League Group A


German giants secured qualification to the knockout rounds following victory over the Spanish side at the Allianz Arena, courtesy of their French magician

Bayern Munich secured qualification to the Champions League round of 16 as Group A winners following a routine 3-1 home win over Villarreal.

The hosts were ahead by two goals for most of the match, and their victory, combined with Napoli's win over Manchester City, confirmed the Bavarians' status as impressive winners of a pool that was billed as 'the group of death' when the draw was made.

It took less than three minutes for Franck Ribery to open the scoring, and by the 24th minute, the hosts were 2-0 up thanks to Mario Gomez. Jonathan De Guzman pulled one back for the visitors on 50 minutes, but Ribery restored the hosts' two-goal advantage and they held on for a convincing win.

Following their weekend loss to Borussia Dortmund, the hosts had just the start they needed, with some thanks to Villarreal centre-back Carlos Marchena, who passed the ball directly into the path of Toni Kroos. The Bayern man took a touch before slipping a through ball to Ribery, who looped his finish over Diego Lopez.

Just 21 minutes later, Anatoliy Tymoshchuk blasted an effort from distance that struck the inside of the right post, and the rebound found Gomez, who re-directed home the game's second goal.

The visitors' defence greatly struggled in the opening stages, and both Tymoshchuk and Arjen Robben could have been on the scoresheet in the opening half hour, but the Ukrainian had a clear chance miss the target before the Dutchman saw his volley saved.

Prolific | Gomez netted his customary goal in a routine win for Bayern

The Spaniards put up little opposition overall, but showed some signs of life in the closing minutes of the first half. De Guzman flashed a cross to the back post that needed only a touch to find the net, and Borja Valero fired a strong effort from distance that Manuel Neuer punched over the bar.

De Guzman made the match competitive once more in the 50th minute after Kroos' weak pass was intercepted by Joan Oriol. The defender burst forward into open space and crossed to the back post, where the former Mallorca midfielder was positioned to strike a stunning volley into the net.

The home fans' nerves were not eased as Ribery failed to add to his tally with a trio of chances, but the Frenchman's fourth opportunity of the half was the charm as he latched onto Kroos' through ball, rounded the goalkeeper, and coolly finished to seal the points.

There were a few late opportunities from both sides, but Neuer was keen to deny Marco Ruben, while Diego Lopez did well to stop a drive from substitute Ivica Olic.

The result sees Bayern through to the round of 16 as they maintain their position atop Group A with 13 points, five ahead of Napoli. Villarreal remain last, and are eliminated, having failed to earn a single point from their first five games.

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