Germany World Cup winger and game-winning goal-scorer THOMAS MUELLER of Bayern Munich contends for the airborne ball with a challenge from AS Roma’s Italy international midfielder MATTEO BRIGHI (33) at the Allianz Arena in Bavaria. (AP/Matthias Schrader)
UEFA Champions League
2 – Bayern Munich (GER) ——— Mueller 79′, Klose 83′
0 – AS Roma (ITA)
A pair of second half goals from the usual suspects saw German champion BAYERN MUNICH break down a stubborn AS ROMA side from Italy 2-0 on the first matchday of Group E play in the UEFA Champions League.
Goalless in its last two Bundesliga games, Bayern Munich was, again, lackluster for the first forty-five minutes. The Bavarians could thank Germany reserve World Cup goalkeeper HANS-JOERG BUTT for keeping the Romans from taking the lead, as well. However, after the break, the hosts slowly began to impose their will if only, initially, to be denied by the efforts AS Roma’s goalkeeper, the Brazilian JULIO SERGIO.
Germany World Cup winger THOMAS MUELLER finally got Bayern Munich on the board in the 79th minute with a bit of magic — after collecting a ball headed back into the box by Belgium international defender DANIEL VAN BUYTEN on the right, the just-turned 21-year-old curled the ball off the bounce with the outside of his right foot past the diving Julio Sergio into the far corner of the net.
Germany World Cup striker MIROSLAV KLOSE, a second half substitute, added a second goal for the German champions just four minutes later by getting the slightest of touches to the free kick played into the box by Germany World Cup defender HOLGER BADSTUBER.
Bayern Munich were without France World Cup midfielder FRANCK RIBERY, serving the third and final game of a suspension carried over from last season. In-form international winger HAMIT ALTINOP was selected by Dutch coach LOUIS VAN GAAL as Ribery’s replacement. The 27-year-old has not played in any of the first three Bundesliga matches for Bayern Munich this season but did score a goal for Turkey in both the 2-0 defeat of Kazakhstan and 1-1 draw with Belgium in European Championship qualifiers earlier this September.
Altintop was taken off in favor of insurance goal-scorer Klose in the 67th minute.
BAYERN MUNICH : Butt – Lahm, van Buyten, Badstuber, Contento – van Bommel, Schweinsteiger – Mueller (Pranjic 82′), Kroos, Altintop (Klose 67′) – Olic (Gomez 67′)
AS ROMA : Julio Sergio – Rosi, Burdisso, Juan, Cassetti – Brighi, Pizarro, De Rossi, Perrotta – Totti (Menez 79′), Borriello
Holland World Cup Final midfielder MARK VAN BOMMEL of Bayern Munich tackles another 33-year-old, AS Roma captain and Italy international striker FRANCESCO TOTTI (10), a World Cup winner in 2006, at the Allianz Arena in Bavaria. (AP/Kerstin Joensson)