Bayern Munich opened the defence of their Champions League title with an emphatic 3-0 win over CSKA Moscow.
The impressive David Alaba opened the scoring in the fourth minute with a brilliant free-kick, raising the roof on a cold night in Munich.
Mario Mandzukic was desperately unlucky not to add a second when his header crashed back off the inside of the far post, but Bayern were playing with a swagger and the second was only a matter of time.
It came moments later through Mandzukic, who this time buried his header from Arjen Robben’s whipped free-kick, despite a strong suggestion of offside.
Robben wrapped up the win, drilling in from 12 yards after Alaba’s well-disguised lofted pass fooled the baffled CSKA defence.
PRE-MATCH: Schweinsteiger starts on the bench, Lahm in defensive midfield. Bayern begin the defence of their Champions League title under new coach Pep Guardiola against a side Bayern have never faced in a competitive fixture. CSKA are without key man Alan Dzagoev, with Zoran Tosic only on the bench after failing to recover fully from an injury on the weekend.
4’ – GOAL: What a hit by Alaba. He lashes a free-kick up and over the wall from 25 yards to give Bayern the lead in emphatic fashion.
38’ – OFF THE POST: Rafinha lifts in a cross from the right that reaches Mandzukic, whose diving header crashes back off the inside of the post and back into Akinfeev’s arms.
41’ – GOAL: Bayern have a second and Mandzukic finally has his goal. Despite a hint of offside, Mandzukic buries his header this time from Robben’s free-kick.
68’ – GOAL: Robben wraps up the win with a well-taken third for Bayern, after Alaba fooled everyone in the CSKA back line with a smart lofted pass.
87' - SO CLOSE: Shaqiri almost puts the icing on the cake with a delicate finish from Muller's pass, but the Swiss watches as the ball rolls agonisingly wide of the far post.
TALKING POINT: Can Bayern retain their Champions League crown? No one has ever successfully retained the Champions League, so it would be an incredible achievement if Bayern could manage it. Looking at their squad, it’s a case of who can beat them?
Possession: Bayern 69% CSKA 31%
Bayern have now won their last six Champions League games, scoring 16 goals and conceding one.
Bayern are unbeaten against Russian opposition in the Champions League (six wins, three draws).
Bayern Munich: Neuer 7, Rafinha 7, Dante 7, Boateng 7, Alaba 9, Lahm 7, Kroos 7, Robben 8, Muller 6, Ribery 7, Mandzukic 7; Subs: Schweinsteiger 7, Shaqiri 7, Pizarro N/A.
CSKA Moscow: Akinfeev 8, Ignashevich 7, Nababkin 6, Berezutski 7, Schennikov 7, Wernbloom 5, Honda 5, Cauna 5, St Zuber 5, Vitinho 6, Musa 7; Subs: Tosic 7, Milanov N/A, Bazelyuk N/A.
MAN OF THE MATCH
David Alaba (Bayern Munich) – Doesn’t always get the recognition he deserves, but stepped up with a fine performance. Thrashed in the opener from a free-kick and assisted the third with an audacious pass.