Bayern beat Roma to claim first place in Group E

FC Bayern München 2-0 AS Roma
A goal in each half from Franck Ribéry and Mario Götze ensured Josep Guardiola's side will finish first in Group E with two matches to spare.

Following FC Bayern München's 2-0 win against AS Roma Franck Ribéry told UEFA.com that "it was important to score the first goal" on a night that the German giants confirmed their place in the next round.

Bayern sew up first place in Group E with two games to spare
Franck Ribéry slots in via the post to break the deadlock (38)
Mario Götze doubles the advantage from close range (64)
Manuel Neuer makes late world-class double save
Next games: Manchester City v Bayern, CSKA Moskva v Roma (25 November)

FC Bayern München became the first German club to claim first place in the UEFA Champions League group stage after just four games with a 2-0 home victory against AS Roma.

A taut opening was almost inevitable after Bayern's 7-1 victory in Rome two weeks ago, particularly with their chief tormentor that night, Arjen Robben, absent with a stomach bug. Rudi Garcia's Roma did their best to make it as claustrophobic as possible for the hosts early on and with Bayern struggling to break them down, were not shy of having a go themselves with Mattia Destro particularly lively.

Speculative efforts from Mario Götze and Philipp Lahm were the best Bayern had to show for the first half-hour. They might easily have gone behind as well, had Radja Nainggolan managed to bring down a beautifully lofted pass from Alessandro Florenzi after peeling off the Bayern defence.

David Alaba caused a few gasps when his free-kick whipped narrowly past the post, but after a largely frustrating opening period for Bayern there was more than an element of relief when Alaba strode forward before pulling back for Franck Ribéry to coolly side-foot into the far corner via the post.

The Bundesliga champions showed increased aggression in attack following the restart without looking like extending their advantage. Juan Bernat almost caught out Roma keeper Łukasz Skorupski with a poked finish and Alaba headed a Rafinha cross just over. Against the club he left in the summer, Medhi Benatia was unable to keep his half-volley down from Ribéry's corner.

The pressure was growing and eventually told when Jérôme Boateng slotted a fine pass through for Robert Lewandowski. Götze just managed to get a toe to the cross, lifting it over Skorupski and into the net.
 
Ribéry and Alaba each threatened again heading into the latter stages, but it was the brilliance of Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer that really caught the eye as Roma attempted in vain to salvage something. Having been entirely untested, the Germany No1 showed why he is in contention for the FIFA Ballon d'Or with an extraordinary double stop to deny Gervinho and Nainggolan, the latter a fearsome follow-up effort.

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