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UEFA Champions League

  • September 19, 2012
  • • 2:45 PM
  • • Allianz Arena, München
  • Referee: F. Aydinus
  • • Attendance: 68000

Bayern Munich 2-1 Valencia: German giants produce dominant display

A sizzling shot from Toni Kroos 15 minutes from time secured three points for the hosts, who had taken the lead before the interval through Bastian Schweinsteiger

Champions League runner-up last season, Bayern Munich began its quest to lift the trophy at Wembley in May next year with a 2-1 victory over Valencia at the Allianz Arena.

Jupp Heynckes’ side was dominant throughout but was forced to be persistent to break down the Spaniards, who were rarely able to exert themselves as an offensive force. It took the Bavarians nearly 40 minutes to open the scoring, with Bastian Schweinsteiger driving home. Although the hosts were not so impressive after the break, Toni Kroos hammered a second to secure the points.

Nelson Valdez's late header gave the score a sense of respectability for the visitors, but his effort came too late to make a change to the outcome. Indeed, matters got worse for Valencia late on, with Ricardo Costa dismissed in conceding a penalty that was missed by Mario Mandzukic.

Bayern made a positive start to the match without being overwhelming. It dominated possession and territory but struggled to really worry Diego Alves, save for a three-minute spell in which the home side drove three well-struck shots at goal that the custodian dealt with solidly.

Arjen Robben was regularly able to make his trademark jink inside from the right wing to aim at goal with his left foot, and after loose play in the visiting rearguard, he had a shot deflected just over 10 minutes before the break.

Shortly afterwards, Valencia mustered its first remotely meaningful attack, but in pushing players forward the Spaniards allowed Bayern room in which to attack, and the Germans punished them to the maximum, with Robben unselfishly playing in Schweinsteiger to drive home from the right side of the box.

After the interval, Mauricio Pellegrino’s men showed a more forthright attitude and at least mustered some spells of pressure against opponents who allowed their passing to become a little scrappy.

At the other end of the field it was Kroos who was impressing. The Germany international had strong claims for a penalty waved away shortly before firing a fierce shot at goal from just outside the area that required an athletic save. With a quarter of an hour remaining, he finally sealed the game, driving a powerful shot into the top corner having been allowed far too much room on the edge of the box.

There was still time for late drama, with Valdez heading Valencia back into the game before Mario Mandzukic missed a stoppage-time penalty after Ricardo Costa was dismissed for a foul on Robben.

Bayern had already done enough to secure three points, taking a successful first step in the competition.

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