|A||Real Sociedad||Shakhtar Donetsk|
FC Bayern München got their UEFA Champions League title defence off to a winning start with a comfortable defeat of PFC CSKA Moskva.
David Alaba's stunning free-kick gave Bayern the ideal platform with the group stage's first goal just four minutes in and Mario Mandžukić capped a dominant opening half with a second shortly before the break. The holders remained in control after the restart but were made to wait until midway through the second period for Arjen Robben to complete the scoring and put Bayern joint top of the early Group D standings.
Bayern could hardly have wished for a better start as Alaba took aim from 20 metres and struck a sweet, swirling free-kick past Igor Akinfeev into the bottom-right corner. The lead could easily have been doubled as the German champions began to strut, but Mandžukić saw his attempt denied by the sprawling Akinfeev following a fine pass from Philipp Lahm.
The Bayern captain had been deployed in defensive midfield, meaning Rafinha took over at right-back and had the crowd on their feet again on 20 minutes, though their cheers soon muted with the realisation his right-foot blast had nestled the wrong side of the net. Bayern were left wondering how they had not scored again when Mandžukić's swirling header somehow rebounded off the goal frame and out.
Vitinho had warmed Manuel Neuer's palms at the other end between times, but Bayern were oozing confidence. Before long their advantage was extended, Mandžukić nodding in a straightforward header from Robben's set-piece delivery.
Robben had two chances early in the second half to add to Bayern's tally, but volleyed straight at Akinfeev as the ball dropped in the box and saw another deflected effort well held by the Russian international. Yet there was a familiar UEFA Champions League tale for the 2013 final hero as his persistence eventually paid off, Alaba looping a superb ball over the defence for him to bring down and crash past Akinfeev for Bayern's third on 68 minutes.
Substitutes Xherdan Shaqiri and Bastian Schweinsteiger each went close late on, but there was to be no further scoring as Bayern cruised to victory. Manchester City FC's 3-0 win at FC Viktoria Plzeň puts them level pegging at the top of the section, but Bayern will get the opportunity to pull clear when they visit the City of Manchester Stadium on 2 October.
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