Bayern seal top spot
German giants progress as group winners with game to spare
Last Updated: 22/11/11 10:16pm
Franck Ribery: Scored twice for Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich eased into the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League with a 3-1 victory over Villarreal.
Bayern will progress as group winners with a game to spare and finish their campaign with a trip to Manchester City, which the hosts must win to have any hope of progressing.
The home side got off to the best possible start as Franck Ribery put them ahead after just three minutes. They dominated possession for the rest of the half and deservedly led 2-0 at the break after Mario Gomez found the net.
A goal at the start of the second half from Jonathan de Guzman gave Villarreal hope but Bayern continued to have the majority of the ball and Ribery's second goal sealed the win.
The German giants came into the match needing only a draw to seal a place in the last 16 but with pride wounded by a 1-0 home defeat to Borussia Dortmund in the league at the weekend - a loss that saw Bayern's lead at the summit cut to two points.
It took Jupp Heynckes' men just two minutes to begin to banish the memory of that loss though as Ribery put the hosts ahead with a dink over Diego Lopez following good work by Toni Kroos, who had intercepted a terrible pass by Carlos Marchena.
Anatoliy Tymoschuk, Philip Lahm, David Alaba and Ribery then tried their luck as Bayern laid siege to the visitors' goal in the opening stages, and the home side were rewarded with a second goal from Gomez.
Tymoschuk was unlucky not to score himself as his long-range drive came back off the post, but Gomez was in the right place to slot home the rebound to leave Bayern further in control.
Villarreal, who had netted just one goal in losing each of their opening four matches, were already out of contention for a top-two berth but they still had a Europa League lifeline and they refused to give in at the Allianz Arena.
Borja Valero twice drew good saves from Manuel Neuer before the break, while Hernan Perez also tested the home custodian before the Spanish side pulled a goal back just after half-time.
Left-back Joan Oriol made good progress forward before chipping a ball across the edge of the box which De Guzman dispatched into bottom corner of the net with a blistering volley.
The Yellow Submarine could not make any more inroads, though, and Bayern restored their two-goal lead through Ribery in the 69th minute, and with it secured the victory.
The goal came from another awful mistake by the Villarreal defence, with Bruno Soriano the guilty party this time as his sloppy pass inside his own half was intercepted and Bayern quickly fed the ball out to Ribery, who rounded Lopez before slotting home.
UEFA Champions League
Tue 22nd Nov - Group B
CSKA Mosc0 - 2Lille
Trabzonspor1 - 1Inter
Tue 22nd Nov - Group A
Napoli2 - 1Man City
Bay Munich3 - 1Villarreal
Tue 22nd Nov - Group C
Otelul Galati2 - 3Basel
Man Utd2 - 2Benfica
Tue 22nd Nov - Group D
R Madrid6 - 2Din Zagreb
Lyon0 - 0Ajax
UEFA Champions League Group A
UEFA Champions League Group B
UEFA Champions League Group C
|3||Zenit St. Petersburg||6||7|
UEFA Champions League Group D
UEFA Champions League Group E
UEFA Champions League Group F
|2||Paris St Germain||6||13|
UEFA Champions League Group G
UEFA Champions League Group H