FC Bayern München scored four second-half goals to ensure a winning start in Group B as FC Spartak Moskva were made to suffer on their return to the UEFA Champions League after a three-season absence.
After a disjointed first half, the Bundesliga outfit emerged after the interval with renewed purpose. Within two minutes Claudio Pizarro turned inside former TSV 1860 München defender Martin Stranzl and slotted in the opener and five minutes later Roque Santa Cruz virtually sealed the contest, latching on to Mark van Bommel's through-ball and firing inside the far post. With Spartak's defence stretched, Bastian Schweinsteiger side-footed in with 19 minutes remaining before substitute Hasan Salihamidžić capped an emphatic victory.
The news that Bayern coach Felix Magath had opted for a new striking lineup, with Lukas Podolski making his first start for the club alongside Pizarro, sent excitement through the crowd before kick-off but this failed to reach the pitch as the match endured a lacklustre start. A Lucio error almost let in Serghei Covalciuc on the left for Spartak and the Moldovan youngster created problems early on. He, Clemente Rodríguez and Roman Pavlyuchenko combined to feed Radoslav Kováč on eleven minutes but Oliver Kahn saved comfortably.
The hosts did add some urgency to their play as the half wore on, though. First Willy Sagnol's curving cross found Pizarro at the back post and although an awkward bounce prevented the Peruvian getting his shot away, goalkeeper Wojciech Kowalewski was soon tested, diving to keep out Santa Cruz's raking long-range effort. However, Spartak were playing the patience game very well, with Mozart and Kováč forming a strong wall in front of defence.
In Germany they call this Mauern, or bricklaying, and although Vladimir Fedotov was forced to withdraw the injured Martin Jiránek on 31 minutes, Roman Shishkin fitted seamlessly into the back line and the Russian visitors began to press forward. Ten minutes before half-time Yegor Titov played the ball into Pavlyuchenko's feet and the forward turned Philipp Lahm before sending in a low shot that Kahn did well to parry. The Bayern No1 had to be alert again when Rodríguez advanced unchecked deep into the area but with Kahn narrowing the angle, he skewed his effort just wide of the far post.
Bayern offered little in return, and went in at half-time with the whistles of frustrated fans ringing in their ears. They emerged from the break a different side, full of vigour. Within seven minutes Pizarro and Santa Cruz had struck to make it 2-0 and send the crowd in raptures, and the former almost added a third before the hour as Bayern threatened to match the 5-1 scoreline they achieved last time the teams met in Munich. That four-goal margin was repeated as Schweinsteiger and Salihamidžić registered two more to leave the German champions in good heart as they prepare to visit FC Internazionale Milano on 27 September. Spartak take on Sporting Clube de Portugal the same night.