Luca Toni came back to haunt ACF Fiorentina as he helped orchestrate an impressive 3-0 UEFA Champions League victory for FC Bayern München against his former employers.
Though he failed to get on the scoresheet, Toni had a hand in both of Bayern's first-half goals as Miroslav Klose and Bastian Schweinsteiger put the home side in command. Zé Roberto curled in a delightful third late on as the German champions maintained their unbeaten start to Group F and cemented their hold on top spot in the section ahead of their reunion with the Viola in two weeks' time.
Roundly whistled by the travelling support, Toni did little to endear himself to those who had once worshipped him as he was at the heart of a bristling Bayern start. His flick just four minutes in released Klose, and the German international outpaced Juan Manuel Vargas before producing a delightful flicked finish which left Sébastien Frey flat-footed. Toni's link-up play freed Zé Roberto a minute later, but the Brazilian could only shoot straight at the French goalkeeper from an acute angle.
Adrian Mutu was one of the chief reasons Toni was such a success in Florence, and the Romanian threatened to bring his side level with a long-range drive that had Michael Rensing flying to his left. The Bayern No1 perhaps deserved his luck at the subsequent corner as Riccardo Montolivo's carefully steered shot was deflected wide of the mark. Mutu was again influential as the visitors almost drew level on 22 minutes, tricking his way past two Bayern defenders and flashing a shot across goal which the in-form Alberto Gilardino only narrowly failed to touch into the net.
Toni also contributed to Bayern's second on 25 minutes when his header fell to Franck Ribéry raiding down the left. Vargas's lunge failed to stop the Frenchman's pass across the penalty area from reaching Schweinsteiger, who had time to cut inside before measuring a left-foot shot past Frey. Gilardino volleyed acrobatically wide as half-time beckoned, and Cesare Prandelli's side also came out brightly after the break with Zdravko Kuzmanović and Felipe both testing Rensing.
Toni's presence on the pitch had been in doubt up till kick-off with the 31-year-old nursing bruised ribs sustained in Bundesliga action last weekend, and with Bayern enjoying a two-goal cushion, he was replaced to the acclaim of the home supporters by Lukas Podolski before the hour mark. Yet Bayern remained dangerous, and a point-blank Martín Demichelis header brought a stunning stop from Frey to keep the visitors' ambitions alive, the keeper also having to be alert to deny Klose.
Substitute Tim Borowski then dithered after Ribéry's penetrating burst had given him a shooting opportunity, while Mutu was also profligate as he somehow headed Kuzmanović's deep cross wide of the far post. Zé Roberto showed them how to do it in the final minute, curling in a delicious effort to set the seal on an emphatic win.
©UEFA.com 1998-2015. All rights reserved.