FC Bayern München moved a step closer to booking their place in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 following a thumping 5-1 win over Arsenal FC at the Allianz Arena.
Goals: 1-0 Lewandowski (10'), 2-0 Müller (29'), 3-0 Alaba (44'), 4-0 Robben (55'), 4-1 Giroud (69'), 5-1 Müller (88')
Bayern were never going to let Matchday 3’s 2-0 defeat in North London lie, and so it proved. After a few early jitters, Pep Guardiola’s men seized control of the contest, Robert Lewandowski skipping the offside trap to glance Thiago Alcantara’s inch-perfect cross into the net. Arsenal thought they had levelled through Mesut Özil barely seconds later, but the Germany international was rightly penalised for handball. A deflected Thomas Müller strike nevertheless put the Bundesliga leaders firmly in the driving seat, with a superb solo effort from David Alaba underlining a painful first half for the visitors.
Arjen Robben had only been on the pitch for 38 seconds when he swept in Bayern’s fourth following an effortless passing move involving Douglas Costa and the ubiquitous Alaba. Bayern momentarily dropped their guard as Santi Cazorla forced Manuel Neuer into a rare save, before Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud succeeded in reducing the arrears 22 minutes from time. The red shirts swiftly regrouped, however, going close through Robben and restoring their four-goal advantage courtesy of a blistering burst from Costa and clinical Müller finish.
Man of the match
The Bayern faithful were treated to a number of faultless individual performances, but it was Thiago who really made the five-time European champions winners tick from midfield.
If the rest of Europe did not know about Bayern's ruthless streak, they do now. Qualification to the last 16 now looks a mere formality for Guardiola's wolfish brood - six points clear of third-placed GNK Dinamo Zagreb at the top of Group F - with games against Olympiacos FC and Dinamo still to come.
- Lewandowski has scored 14 goals in his last ten appearances in all competitions.
- Thiago has registered four assists in this season’s Champions League.
- Müller has scored eight goals in his last seven matches in all competitions.
Bayern: Neuer - Lahm, Boateng (Benatia 68’), Martinez, Alaba - Alonso , Thiago - Müller, Costa, Coman (Robben 55’) - Lewandowski (Vidal 70’)
Arsenal: Cech - Debuchy, Mertesacker, Gabriel, Monreal - Coquelin, Cazorla (Chambers 87’) - Campbell (Gibbs 58’), Özil, Sanchez - Giroud (Iwobi 85’)