Munich - FC Bayern Munich tore LOSC Lille to shreds on Matchday 4 in the UEFA Champions League to run out 6-1 winners at the Allianz Arena.

A first-half treble from Claudio Pizarro, as well as goals from Bastian Schweinsteiger and Arjen Robben put the Reds 5-0 up at the interval, with Toni Kroos netting the sixth in the second period. Lille registered a consolation effort through Salomon Kalou, but in truth the final scoreline flattered the French side.

Changes pay off


Head coach Jupp Heynckes sprung a surprise or two in his starting line-up, opting to play Claudio Pizarro ahead of Bundesliga top scorer Mario Mandzukic up front and dropping the in-form Kroos to the bench in favour of Robben. They were two big calls to make for Heynckes, but they proved more than justified as Bayern utterly dominated the most one-sided of halves.

Lille goalkeeper Mickael Landreau produced a stunning save to deny Thomas Müller, but the Frenchman’s clean sheet had vanished seconds later as Schweinsteiger curled in a well-placed free-kick. A neat passing move involving Pizarro and Franck Ribery was then completed with the Peruvian's shot low into the corner, and from then on, it was just a question of how many for Bayern.

Pizarro fills his boots


Robben joined in the scoring when his free-kick was deflected in, before Pizarro netted twice in quick succession, tucking away two excellent Philipp Lahm crosses. It was the first hat-trick scored by a Bayern player in the Champions League since Mario Gomez against SSC Napoli on this very same Matchday last season, but it could have been more for the relentless Reds. Robben’s delicate chip was tipped wide by Landreau and David Alaba rifled a fierce effort wide of the post to end a remarkable half.

The Lille players might have been wishing to board the plane back home early and take a 5-0 defeat then and there, but they remained competitive enough to earn a consolation effort, as Kalou, part of the Chelsea team that defeated Bayern on this ground in last year’s final, struck un unstoppable effort in off the bar just shy of the hour-mark.

Kroos joins in


It was the fifth goal Manuel Neuer had conceded from just eight shots on his goal in the campaign, but it roused the home side out of their temporary slumber and they soon restored their five-goal lead. Again, Lahm was the architect, as his pass across the box was thumped home in style by the newly-introduced Kroos.

Kroos in particular was making the most of the freedom afforded to him by a Lille side that had long given up hope, and he combined brilliantly with Ribery to free Robben, but the winger’s shot was charged down. Xherdan Shaqiri then fired tamely at the keeper when clean through. Another Robben effort was palmed away in injury time, but it had no bearing whatsoever, as a game that was long decided wound down to a most satisfying evening for the four-time European champions.

Bernie Reeves

Line-ups:

Bayern: Neuer – Lahm, Boateng, Dante, Alaba – Martinez, Schweinsteiger (Tymoschchuk, 67‘) – Robben, Müller (Kroos, 61‘) Ribery (Shaqiri, 72‘) – Pizarro

Lille: Landreau – Debuchy, Basa, Chedjou, Beria – Rozehnal (Mavuba, 46’), Balmont, Pedretti – Kalou (Martin, 72’), Payet (Tulio de Melo, 46’), Roux

Goals: 1-0 Schweinsteiger (5'), 2-0 Pizarro (18'), 3-0 Robben (23'), 4-0 Pizarro (28'), 5-0 Pizarro (33'), 5-1 Kalou (58'), 6-1 Kroos (66')