FC Girondins de Bordeaux's exceptional set-piece prowess again came to the fore as they clinched their place in the first knockout round with victory at FC Bayern München.
Dead-ball delivery has invigorated Bordeaux's Group A campaign, and when Yoann Gourcuff stole clear to nod in Wendel's 37th-minute free-kick, it was the French champions' fifth goal of the section, all from set-pieces. Marouane Chamakh added a second from open play in the final minute to ensure Les Girondins will finish in the top two, while Bayern's destiny was taken out of their hands following Juventus's victory at Maccabi Haifa FC in the night's other encounter.
Coach Laurent Blanc had told Bordeaux to be wary of an early Bayern onslaught, but his words almost rang hollow two minutes in when goalkeeper Cédric Carrasso turned Edson Braafheid's swirling centre on to his own crossbar. That scare, however, belied an otherwise confident start by the visitors. The well-drilled organisation which has made them Ligue 1's meanest side shone through as the same lineup that triumphed in France on Matchday 3 comfortably fended off the hosts.
With Bayern badly missing the creativity of the injured Franck Ribéry and with their other attacking catalyst, Arjen Robben, consigned to the bench, Bastian Schweinsteiger was expected to supply invention from midfield and almost gave his team the lead just after the half-hour. Michaël Ciani's foul on Luca Toni presented Bayern with a centrally placed free-kick, but though Schweinsteiger's execution was impeccable, Carrasso leapt spectacularly to his right to palm the ball away. The Bordeaux goalkeeper deserved his fortune in the ensuing goalmouth mêlée as Ciani and Alou Diarra combined to deny Miroslav Klose on the goalline.
Bayern's failure to take their chance proved still more costly soon afterwards as Bordeaux's brilliance from set-pieces again provided a breakthrough. Bayern had been given fair warning of the danger in their defeat of 21 October, yet they received another unforgiving lesson in the art of the dead ball as Gourcuff arrived late and unmarked to head in Wendel's long free-kick at the back post.
Louis van Gaal's men should have restored parity within two minutes of the restart. Toni wrestled his way past Marc Planus, only to blaze wastefully over with just Carrasso to beat. Mark van Bommel then had a goalbound shot blocked by Diarra's telescopic leg before Robben, introduced at half-time, grazed a post with a low drive across goal. Had Carrasso not moved smartly to smother an incisive through ball, another Bayern substitute, Mario Gómez, would have had a clear opportunity as the Bundesliga outfit enjoyed a promising spell.
That was as good as it got though for Bayern though, and the heavy rain that poured on the Fuβball Arena München for much of the second period contributed to dampening the locals' enthusiasm. Their misery was complete when communication broke down between the last defender, Holger Badstuber, and goalkeeper Hans-Jörg Butt as both went to clear a long punt forward by Fernando. Chamakh promptly slid the loose ball into an unguarded net to send Blanc's boys through with two games remaining.