Munich - FC Bayern München made history on Wednesday evening by becoming the first German team to secure top spot in their UEFA Champions League group after just four matches following their 2-0 victory over AS Roma at the Allianz Arena.

The result, secured by goals in either half from Franck Ribery and Mario Götze, means Bayern have won all four of their Group E assignments so far and can no longer be caught by second-placed Roma.

Roma resilient


Aware that just a point would take his side through to the knockout rounds, Bayern boss Pep Guardiola named a strong line-up against the side his charges had ruthlessly taken apart 7-1 just two weeks ago, even if Roma’s tormentor-in-chief on that occasion, Arjen Robben, was absent with a stomach bug. Nevertheless, Bayern swiftly settled into their possession-based game, although they failed to have a clear sight of goal inside the first half hour as their guests put up more of a fight this time.

Indeed, the visitors went closest to breaking the deadlock in the opening period after a couple of long balls over the top caused Bayern trouble at the back, but the hosts responded by increasing the pressure at the other end. David Alaba whipped a right-wing free-kick within inches of the far post, before Bayern took the lead shortly afterwards. Ribery won possession on the halfway line and fed Alaba on the left flank, where the Austrian had space to sprint into the box before cutting back for Ribery to sidefoot into the corner.

Bayern turn the screw


After the interval Bayern appeared determined to put the tie to bed and laid siege to the Roma penalty area. Alaba headed narrowly over from Rafinha’s inch-perfect right-wing cross before Medhi Benatia almost scored against his former colleagues when he found himself unmarked at the back post from a corner, but he failed to make proper contact with the ball and hit the side netting.

Götze showed him how it was done on 64 minutes, flicking home Lewandowski’s cross from the left and effectively ending any hopes Roma had of snatching a point. Xherdan Shaqiri and Alaba went close to adding their names to the scoresheet in the closing stages but their profligacy mattered little as a late double-save from Manuel Neuer was as much threat as Roma carried in the final third, allowing the hosts to ease into the Round of 16 with two games to spare.

Line-ups:

FC Bayern: Neuer - Rafinha, Benatia, Boateng, Bernat - Alonso (Shaqiri 72’) - Lahm (Höjbjerg 88’), Alaba (Rode 81’) - Götze, Ribery - Lewandowski

AS Roma: Skorupski - Torosidis, Yanga-Mbiwa, Manolas, Holebas (Cole 46’) - Florenzi (Pjanic 58’), de Rossi, Keita, Nainggolan - Iturbe (Gervinho 74’) - Destro

Goals: 1-0 Ribery (38’), 2-0 Götze (64’)

Jonathan Stockitt reporting from the Allianz Arena