FK Partizan 0-3 FC Bayern München
FC Bayern München will be able to approach the second leg of their UEFA Champions League third qualifying round meeting with FK Partizan in relaxed mood after a 3-0 victory in Belgrade tonight.
A summer spending spree which saw Michael Ballack and Zé Roberto - inspirational figures as Bayer 04 Leverkusen advanced to last season's final - move to the Olympiastadion in addition to Sebastian Deisler, the highly promising young German international, underlined Bayern's burning ambition to reclaim club football's greatest prize after Real Madrid CF dethroned them last term.
Despite not qualifying automatically for the first group stage, Bayern will be among the teams to avoid in the competition after they sounded their intent with this impressive victory in Yugoslavia. Defender Michael Tarnat was the unlikely scorer of Bayern's first European goal of the season in the 22nd minute, with Jens Jeremies and Claudio Pizarro adding to that tally in the second half.
Ballack, named the German Football of the Year earlier in the day, started the game but was upstaged by Tarnat as he controlled a Giovane Elber cross before beating Radovan Radakovic in the Partizan goal with a sweet strike from the edge of the area.
Partizan, initially at least, did not let Bayern rest on their laurels, and Ivica Iliev forced a fine save from visiting goalkeeper Oliver Kahn in the 25th minute. The ball rebounded to Danko Lazovic but he shot wide with the goal gaping.
The home side's resistance went with that chance and Bayern, sensing a straightforward victory was there for the taking, swelled forward in search of a second goal. Surprisingly, though, they had to wait until 20 minutes from time to double their advantage.
Mehmet Scholl was the architect of the goal, finding the head of Jeremies, his fellow midfield player, with a well-floated free-kick. The tie was effectively sealed seven minutes later when Ballack waltzed through the Partizan defence before squaring for Pizarro to tap the ball in for Bayern's third goal without reply - an advantage they are unlikely to relinquish in the return leg in two weeks' time.
No complaints from Tumbakovic
Partizan coach Ljubisa Tumbakovic had no complaints about the result. “It’s very hard to lose 3-0 at home,” he said. “But Bayern are a great club. The result hurts, but we have to keep working, and we have a lot to learn. I will change things for the second match, but we know that Bayern are going through.”
Bayern counterpart Ottmar Hitzfeld was satisfied with his team’s performance in front of a hostile Belgrade crowd. “Congratulations to the players, they did very well, especially the defenders” said Hitzfeld. “Partizan are a good team, but you need some luck if you are to go into the UEFA Champions League.”