Bayern Munich outclassed an abject BATE Borisov to win 4-1 and top Group F - but the win was soured by a red card for Bayern defender Jerome Boateng.
Mario Gomez opened the scoring for Bayern with a first half tap-in, before Boateng saw red early in the second half.
But the 10 men doubled their lead through Thomas Mueller's dubious strike, before Xherdan Shaqiri's header made it 3-0. Substitute David Alaba lashed in a late fourth before BATE were also reduced to 10 men when Denis Polyakov received a second yellow card for diving.
Yegor Filipenko struck a late consolation, but even that flattered BATE as Bayern sent out a warning sign to the other 15 sides still in the Champions League.
With Bayern’s path to the last 16 already certain, they only needed to beat BATE to be sure of topping the group. BATE were already guaranteed a place in the Europa League due to their superior head-to-head record with Lille and, from the early stages, it was clear BATE's only intention was to make up the numbers.
While the Minsk side were well organised and disciplined, they showed very little ambition in a game in which they had nothing to lose.
Bayern were dominant from the first minute with Shaqiri and Diego Contento linking well on the left and Gomez and Bastian Schweinsteiger both forcing saves from Andrei Gorbunov.
But Gorbunov could do little when Bayern’s constant pressure eventually produced the opener. Shaqiri played a crucial role, beating Polyakov down the Bayern left and delivering a neat cut back to Gomez, who just had to tap in.
The goal forced BATE to attack with greater intent, and former Arsenal and Barcelona midfielder Aleksandr Hleb was the visitors’ shining light, but despite his classy contributions, BATE looked painfully short of creativity.
But BATE were handed a lifeline early in the second half when Boateng was shown a straight red card for a reckless challenge on Artem Kontsevoi. It was a decision that enraged the home fans and, although it appeared harsh on first viewing, it was deemed dangerous and Boateng trudged off in the knowledge that he will now miss Bayern’s next three Champions League games.
BATE had the perfect opportunity to exploit the 10 men of Bayern but they failed to create a single chance of note before Mueller doubled Bayern’s lead. Toni Kroos bent a free-kick in from the left, Schweinsteiger flicked it on to Mueller who, despite appearing offside, sidefooted in from close-range moments before being substituted.
Bayern continued to dominate and it was only a matter of time before they added a third. This time Gomez turned provider with a cross from the left for Shaqiri, who darted to the near post to head in, capping a fine display by the Swiss international.
BATE offered very little and they were reduced to 10 men when Polyakov threw himself to the ground in the desperate attempt to win a penalty. But all the defender earned himself was a second yellow card for a pathetic dive.
With time running out Bayern brought on Franck Ribery and Alaba, and the pair combined for the fourth goal. Ribery’s cross from the left was only half cleared and Alaba swivelled to lash the ball under Gorbunov’s body.
Bayern were cruising towards victory but were denied the clean sheet they deserved when they switched off in the final minute, with Filipenko pouncing on a poor clearance to drive the ball in from 20 yards.
The scoreline flattered the visitors, whose performance was abject at best, but for Bayern Munich it was a resounding victory as Jupp Heynckes’s side stroll into the business end of the competition.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Xherdan Shaqiri - Bayern Munich: One of his best performances since joining the German giants. Superb delivery throughout and capped a fine display with Bayern's third goal.
BAYERN: Neuer 7, Rafinha 7, Van Buyten 7, Boateng 6, Contento 7, Tymoshchuk 7, Schweinsteiger 8, Muller 7, Kroos 7, Shaqiri 9, Gomez 7. Subs: Dante 7, Ribery 7, Alaba 8.
BATE: Gorbunov 6, Kontsevoi 6, Volodko 5, Radkov 5, Hleb 7, Bordachev 5, Rodionov 5, Filipenko 6, Olekhnovich 6, Baga 5, Polyakov 4. Subs: Yurevich 5, Bressan 5, Vasilyuk 5
- Sports & Recreation
- Bayern Munich
- Jerome Boateng