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Italian resistance finally broken
Last year's beaten finalists Bayern Munich got off to a winning start in the Champions League with a 2-0 win over a negative Roma.

Thomas Muller and Miroslav Klose netted the goals towards the end of what was a frustrating night for Bayern, who spent the entire game trying to break down a catenaccio-inspired Serie A side and almost failed to do so.

Roma set their stall out to defend and, apart from two chances, they rarely threatened the Bayern goal. Bayern dominated the possession stakes from start to finish, but just could not find a way through until the final 10 minutes.

Roma defended with 11 men behind the ball and then entrusted Marco Borriello and Francesco Totti with very rare attacks.

Yet it was a deflected shot from Borriello at the near post which caused the biggest danger of the first half, with Hans-Jorg Butt almost caught off guard only to recover and push the ball wide.

Bayern were even more insistent in the second half with Toni Kroos sending in their first shot on target in the 55th minute. Julio Sergio did well to tip his effort over the crossbar.

The home side enjoyed a prolonged spell of pressure and Muller should have put them ahead in the 56th minute when he pounced on a lucky deflection, but Julio Sergio pushed his shot away instinctively with his left arm.

Kroos had the next chance in the 63rd minute as he dribbled his way into the area but had his shot saved and then Klose's header was tipped onto the outside of the post by the impressive Roma goalkeeper.

Just as it was looking like Julio Sergio was going to earn his side a point, he was beaten by a touch of class from Muller.

The Germany international did not hesitate when the ball came to him in the right-hand side of the penalty area and he curled his shot with the outside of the boot into the far corner of Julio Sergio's goal.

Borriello had a great chance to equalise a minute later when he beat the offside trap but not Butt, who had scampered from his line to narrow the angle.

Klose then sealed Bayern's win in the 83rd minute with his first goal of the season, at least at club level. He lunged at Holger Badstuber's free-kick and got his studs to the ball to divert it past Julio Sergio and give last year's Champions League finalists the perfect start to this year's competition.

# Ranieri blasts "timid" Roma

Claudio Ranieri blasted his side for being "too timid" in their 2-0 defeat at Bayern Munich.

"We were far more attacking last season, but tonight we waited for Bayern too much and were simply too passive. I think that might also be because of the five goals we conceded at the weekend and so coming here against the vice-champions of Europe, it was a nervous occasion.

"Perhaps Bayern believed in the result more, plus they were helped by Thomas Muller's world-class goal. I was not disappointed with the side, but we do have to be a little more determined to make ourselves heard and support the strikers.

"The strength of Bayern is keeping possession and then developing on the wings with Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery. Without them, they struggled. We did very well in defence, but didn't manage to develop our own attacking moves which are also built on passing.

"It is a step forward from Cagliari, but we were still too timid and I wanted the side to be grittier," Ranieri added. "We have to keep working. We cannot support the trident right now, as to do that we need everyone to run, both in attack and defence.

"I saw we were a little more secure today and the team didn't split off into two chunks the way we did in Cagliari. The team is accustomed to playing without a real centre-forward, but we have to change, as we cannot always leave Totti there on his own.

"We've got to work on this and will find the right solution, as it's pointless having signed Adriano and Borriello if we then play with just Francesco Totti and lots of midfielders."

Goalkeeper Julio Sergio backed Roma to bounce back. "Thomas Muller scored a great goal with the outside of his foot. Marco Cassetti was in front of him, so I couldn't see the shot go very clearly, but there was nothing I could've done there," he said of the 2-0 defeat to Bayern Munich.

"We were doing well tactically and knew it was a tough game, so we're upset that it ended this way. We have to understand what it is we need to do better and at the end of the day try to get the points. If you lose even after a strong performance, then you have to learn from those mistakes.

"We are calm and know we're on the right track. Now we have to bring out the grit that great football players have; that belief we're a wonderful team and can do so much better.

"I tried to push the defence up, but it's tough when you don't have the ball. Marking against a team that passes the ball around and isn't in much of a hurry is difficult. We tried our best and tactically did well to smother them, but in the final 15 minutes it all fell apart."

Bayern coach Louis van Gaal was happy to start with a win.

"I think we played very well, given the circumstances," he said. "They just defended, which always makes it hard. After 70 minutes, Roma couldn't run any more. The fans must understand that we need time to break them down. We created two fine goals and could have scored more, so that is fantastic."

Thomas Muller said: "In the first-half, it was very difficult for us, because Roma stood deep. But we moved the ball around really well and then Roma started to tire."
 
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