By 90Min
November 27, 2018

Bayern Munich secured their place in the last 16 of the Champions League with a comprehensive 5-1 victory over Benfica.

Braces from Arjen Robben and Robert Lewandowski, as well as a late strike from Franck Ribery, did the damage as the Bavarians joined Ajax in qualifying from group E.

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After an inauspicious opening ten minutes, Bayern took the lead in stunning fashion through Arjen Robben. In trademark style, the tricky Dutchman cut inside from the right flank, jinked past three Benfica defenders before curling the ball into the top corner.

20 minutes later, in what was almost a carbon copy of the first goal, Robben was allowed the time and the space to drift across from the right, shift the ball on to his trusty left peg, and rifle it it into the top corner for his, and Bayern's, second of the night.

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Robert Lewandowski soon got in on the act, nodding home his 50th goal in the Champions League with a commanding header from a Joshua Kimmich corner. That proved to be the last action of the half, with Bayern's path to the last 16 seemingly secure.

However, Benfica gave themselves a glimmer of hope straight after the restart. Just one minute into the second half, Gedson Fernandes took advantage of some poor defending from Jerome Boateng and stroked the ball beyond the helpless Manuel Neuer.

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However, that hope was soon extinguished. Lewandowski rose highest from another corner once again and guided the ball into the bottom corner to regain Bayern's three goal lead.

A quiet period followed, but the night got even better for Bayern when Franck Ribery added a fifth goal with just under 15 minuted left on the clock. David Alaba reached the by-line before cutting the ball back into the Ribery's path and the Frenchman calmly passed the ball home .

That proved to be the last action of the game, with Bayern settling for just the five goals on the night.


BAYERN MUNICH


Key Talking Point


After a difficult few months, it was absolutely crucial for Bayern to not only win, but do so in a convincing manner.

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Minus the momentary lapse in concentration for Benfica's second half goal, Niko Kovac's men were outstanding and played with the sort of fluidity and discipline we have grown accustomed to over the past few years.

Whether it will be enough to save Kovac's job is an entirely different matter. It seems as though the Croatian is destined to lose his job sooner rather than later, but if the Bayern board still have some faith in him then this result would have done him a lot of favours.


Player Ratings


Starting XI: Neuer (6); Rafinha (6), Boateng (6), Sule (6), Alaba (6); Kimmich (7), Muller (7), Goretzka (6); Robben (8*), Ribery (7), Lewandowski (8).

Substitutes: Sanches (6), Wagner (6), Wooyeong (N/A).


Star Man - The classic phrase that always applies to Arjen Robben proved true once again: 'You know what he's going to do, but there's nothing you can do to stop it'.

We've seen Robben cut in to score on his left foot countless times, but that doesn't make it any less impressive when he pulls it off. He was a thorn in the side of Benfica all evening and his two goals capped off a stellar performance for the veteran winger.



Worst Player - It is rare that a player can fall so far from grace in such a short amount of time, but Jerome Boateng simply isn't the defender he once was.

His rash missed tackle for Benfica's goal demonstrates the fact that his poor decision making is currently costing his side goals




Looking Ahead


Bayern will now be looking to get their domestic campaign back on track when they travel to face Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga on Saturday afternoon.

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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)