UEFA Champions League Group F wrap: Bayern top group
By Football News
Bayern Munich sealed top spot in Group F with a 4-1 victory over BATE Borisov at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday.
Goals from Mario Gomez, Thomas Mueller, Xherdan Shaqiri and David Alaba gave the Bavarians revenge for their defeat in Belarus in October, despite Jerome Boateng seeing red just five minutes into the second half.
Bayern began the game in complete control and could have been ahead before their opponents had even had a kick on two minutes, but Bastian Schweinsteiger scuffed his shot from the edge of box safely into the hands of Andrey Gorbunov in the BATE goal.
The hosts took the lead when Shaqiri evaded Denis Polyakov's challenge on the left before picking out Gomez for a tap-in.
Toni Kroos sparkled only intermittently but almost doubled the lead five minutes before the break, turning to strike a fierce shot from the edge of the box that was well stopped by Gorbunov.
The game looked like evening out five minutes into the second half when Boateng was shown a straight red card for a needless two-footed tackle on Vitali Rodionov.
But just as it looked like the visitors were going to show more ambition and really take the game to the 10 men, a deep free kick was flicked on by Schweinsteiger for Mueller to cushion his volley past Gorbunov from close range.
Shaqiri made it three shortly after the hour mark, heading home from six yards after a fine cross from Gomez on the left.
Denis Polyakov's night was complete with 20 minutes remaining when he was dismissed following a second booking for simulation following a ludicrous attempt to win a penalty for his side.
Alaba rounded off Bayern's scoring with his first ever Champions League goal, controlling well before coolly volleying fellow substitute Franck Ribery's corner past Gorbunov from 18 yards out.
Egor Filippenko then tucked his neat finish inside Manuel Neuer's post from the edge of the box with two minutes remaining, but it was nothing more than a consolation.
The victory ensured Bayern ended the group stage on a high with their 16th victory in their last 17 home Champions League ties.
Despite finishing equal on points with Bayern after a 1-0 win at Lille, Valencia progress to the knockout stages from second place by virtue of a weaker head-to-head record against the German giants.
The La Liga outfit ground out the victory at Grande Stade Lille Metropole courtesy of Jonas' first-half penalty, leaving Lille with just three points to show from a miserable campaign.
The win ensures that coach Ernesto Valverde's reign at Valencia starts on a bright note after the club parted ways with Mauricio Pellegrino last week.