UEFA Champions League

Bayern Munich 3-0 CSKA Moscow Score, Grades and Post-Match Reaction

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 25:  Bastian Schweinsteiger of Bayern Muenchen in action during the UEFA Champions League final match between Borussia Dortmund and FC Bayern Muenchen at Wembley Stadium on May 25, 2013 in London, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)
Alex Grimm/Getty Images
Clark WhitneyFeatured ColumnistSeptember 17, 2013

Bayern Munich claimed their first three points of the 2013-14 Champions League group stage as they beat CSKA Moscow 3-0 at the Allianz Arena and ended the day alongside Manchester City atop Group D.

It took just over three minutes for David Alaba to strike for the European champions; the Austria international fired a precise free kick that Igor Akinfeev was unable to redirect away from goal.

Bayern played a dominant first half and deservedly doubled their advantage on 41 minutes as Mario Mandzukic, who had previously missed three clear chances, nodded home an Arjen Robben cross.

A wayward Ahmed Musa attempt from distance was just about all CSKA could muster before the break.

The visitors looked much improved in the early moments after the break, but were toothless in the attacking third. Musa was stymied by Rafinha just as he'd looked to have freed himself from Boateng.

Robben put the result beyond a shadow of a doubt on 68 minutes as he claimed David Alaba's chipped pass off his chest and volleyed into the net. There were a few chances later, most notably substitute Xherdan Shaqiri's sliding attempt to redirect Thomas Mueller's cross, but Robben's strike would prove to be the last goal of the match.

The result was an excellent response from Bayern to recent criticism lodged by sporting director Matthias Sammer, who claimed his club was "emotionless" in their 2-0 win against Hannover over the weekend.

CSKA is likely disappointed to have trailed for 86 minutes, and will need some serious adjustments if they are to qualify from Group D.

 

Key Player Grades

David Alaba: A

A man-of-the-match performance from the Austria international, who scored a stunning free kick to put the hosts ahead and later set up Robben for Bayern's third goal. To call him a left-back would be an injustice: Alaba covered over 12.1 kilometers on the day, and it was his willingness to move out of position (while not compromising Bayern's strength at the back) that led to both of the goals in which he was involved.

Arjen Robben: A

The 29-year-old whipped in an excellent free kick to set up Mandzukic's goal, then showed lethal finishing touch to make it 3-0 later on. He seems to have adapted his game in 2013, and he and Bayern are better for it.

Igor Akinfeev: C+

Over the course of the match, the Russia international made several good saves. But by the time he made his first, the damage was done. As great as Alaba's free kick was, it was not unstoppable: the goalkeeper got his hand to it and perhaps ought to have kept it out.

 

What's Next?

Bayern visit Schalke this weekend in a pressure-cooker match against the Royal Blues, who are in fine form following back-to-back wins in the Bundesliga.

In 15 days' time, they face a tantalizing clash with City, who beat Viktoria Plzen 3-0 in the Czech Republic.

CSKA visit local rivals Spartak Moscow, who are third in the Russian Premier League table but could draw level on points with Leonid Slutsky's side with a win, this weekend.

Their next Champions League match will be a must-win fixture at home against Plzen.

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