Rome - FC Bayern München moved a step closer to reaching the UEFA Champions League last 16 thanks to a resounding 7-1 victory away to AS Roma to cement their place atop the Group E standings.

Arjen Robben paved the way for the victory with an early strike, and hit the target again later on as further efforts from Mario Götze, Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Müller, Franck Ribery and Xherdan Shaqiri put Bayern out of sight. Roma striker Gervinho grabbed a consolation after the break but by then the outcome was already beyond doubt.

Bayern irresistible


The hosts actually started brightly and pushed high up the pitch as if determined not to let Bayern get a foothold in the game. The tactic worked for the first few minutes until a defensive lapse allowed Bayern to take an early lead: Robben was allowed far too much space on the right side of penalty area and cut inside before curling a trademark shot into the far corner.

The goal shook Roma off balance and they subsequently capitulated, as Götze, Müller and Philipp Lahm swarmed the midfield, ready to pounce on any loose balls. A breathless encounter soon became a masterclass, with quickfire goals from Götze and Lewandowski effectively ending the tie as a contest, before another effort from Robben put Bayern 4-0 up after half an hour. Müller converted a penalty shortly afterwards to ensure Pep Guardiola’s merciless charges went in 5-0 at the break

Seventh heaven for Bayern


Perhaps inevitably, Bayern eased off after the restart and no longer played with the same sense of urgency, allowing Roma to gain in confidence and venture forward with greater purpose. Gervinho hit the post in the 54th minute, before Manuel Neuer was called into action to make two outstanding saves to keep the hosts at bay.

Gervinho eventually did score from close-range moments later after some sloppy Bayern defending, but the guests would soon make amends. Ribery and Shaqiri both came off the bench in the closing stages to add further gloss to the scoreline and put the Bundesliga leaders in control of Group E, five points ahead of the vanquished hosts in second place.

Line-ups:

Roma: De Sanctis - Torosidis, Yanga-Mbiwa, Manolas, Cole (Holebas 46') - Nainggolan, De Rossi, Pjanic (Ljajic 79') - Iturbe, Totti (Florenzi 46'), Gervinho

Bayern: Neuer - Benatia, Boateng, Alaba - Lahm, Alonso - Robben, Götze (Shaqiri 79'), Bernat - Müller (Rafinha 60') - Lewandowski (Ribery 68')

Goals: 0-1 (Robben 9'), 0-2 (Götze 23'), 0-3 (Lewandowski 25'), 0-4 (Robben 30'), 0-5 (Müller, P, 36'), 1-5 (Gervinho 66'), 1-6 (Ribery 78'), 1-7 (Shaqiri 80')

Jonathan Stockitt