Champions League Group F wrap: Bayern overcome Valencia
By Football News
Bayern Munich kicked off their 2012/13 Champions League campaign with a win against Valencia at the Allianz Arean.
Bayern – runners-up in the competition last season – were determined to get their 2012/13 campaign off to a good start and dominated the fixture at the Allianz Arena in Munich.
But Valencia proved difficult to break down and gave them a scare with Nelson Valdez's late header.
The hosts controlled the early proceedings but save for a three-minute spell in which Valencia goalkeeper Diego Alves denied three shots on goal, they struggled to convert their dominance into clear-cut chances.
Arjen Robben was proving a handful on the wing and he had a goal-bound shot deflected over on 35 minutes before Valencia made one of their first meaningful forays forward.
It proved costly though as the La Liga outfit had committed men forward, meaning there was space for Bayern to exploit them at the other end of the pitch.
Robben unselfishly played in Schweinsteiger who fired a strike past Alves from the right side of the box as the Bavarian outfit took the lead with seven first-half minutes remaining.
Tino Costa fired a series of long-range efforts at Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer in the early stages of the second half while Kroos was impressing for the hosts.
He could have won a penalty early in the second half before firing a terrific effort at goal from outside the box that required an athletic save from Alves.
It was third time lucky for Kroos and Bayern though, when he smashed a strike into the top corner after being given too much room on the edge of the box with 14 minutes remaining.
Valdez netted an injury-time header for the Spaniards but Bayern really should have restored their two-goal lead immediately after.
Substitute Mario Mandzukic had the opportunity after Adil Rami brought down Robben in the penalty area with a challenge that saw him sent off for a second yellow card.
The Croatian struck a poor penalty though, with Alves easily saving it as Jupp Heynckes' side were forced to settle for a 2-1 victory.
The other match in Group F saw Belarusian BATE Borisov stun Lille of France with a 3-1 away victory.
Aliaksandr Volodko opened the scoring with a stunning strike from distance after just six minutes for the underdogs.
Further goals to BATE from Vitali Rodionov and Edgar Olekhnovich in the first half highlighted the gaps in Lille's defence as they headed to the break in all sorts.
And despite Aurelien Chedjou's header on the hour-mark, Lille were second best and unable to claw their way back into the game.