FIFA Club World Cup: Guangzhou Evergrande 0 Bayern Munich 3
By Football News
Bayern Munich eased into the FIFA Club World Cup final with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Guangzhou Evergrande on Tuesday.
The semi-final clash between the champions of Europe and Asia proved something of a mismatch, as Bayern dominated proceedings from start to finish in Agadir, progressing courtesy of goals from Franck Ribery, Mario Mandzukic and Mario Gotze.
Pep Guardiola's side had to be patient as Guangzhou somehow held firm until five minutes before the break, when Ribery - restored to the starting XI after featuring as a substitute in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Hamburg - volleyed home.
This opened the floodgates for the Bundesliga leaders, as Mandzukic and Gotze added goals two and three either side of half-time.
Marcello Lippi's Guangzhou failed to register a single shot on target throughout the game, and Bayern go into Saturday's final against Atletico Mineiro or Raja Casablanca in ominous form.
Bayern asserted their authority from the off, but struggled to create clear-cut chances against Guangzhou's well-drilled rearguard.
The German giants almost went ahead after 17 minutes, though, when Thiago Alcantara neatly chested down Rafinha's cross before striking the outside of the post.
Guardiola's men then began turning the screw on their Chinese opponents, and Toni Kroos went even closer to breaking the deadlock when he rifled a half-volley off the underside of the bar following a free-flowing move down the right.
Unperturbed by their bad luck, Bayern continued to probe and finally edged ahead in the 40th minute courtesy of Ribery's eighth goal of the season.
A scramble in the penalty area ended with the ball dropping to the Frenchman, whose controlled left-footed volley from an acute angle crept under Zeng Cheng.
Guangzhou continued to come under sustained pressure from Bayern, who duly doubled their advantage on the stroke of half-time when Mandzukic headed home Thiago's pinpoint cross.
And Bayern simply picked up where they left off after the interval, as Gotze extended his side's lead in brilliant fashion just two minutes into the second period.
The 21-year-old playmaker received a pass from Alaba on the right, took a touch and hit an unstoppable, swerving shot from 20 yards into the far corner.
Bayern appeared in no mood to take mercy on Lippi's men, and Gotze was twice thwarted by Zeng in quick succession around the hour mark - efforts that sandwiched a close-range Ribery strike that clipped the bar.
Substitute Xherdan Shaqiri was next to try his luck as the Germans continued shooting at Zeng at will, before Gotze again went close.
There was still time for Bayern to hit the woodwork for the fourth time in the game as Gotze struck the bar, but Guangzhou managed to salvage some pride by keeping the scoreline respectable.