Bayern smash seven past Roma


Bayern Munich struck five times in the first half en route to a 7-1 demolition of hosts Roma on Tuesday to make it three wins out of three in Group E of the Champions League. The Germans dominated the early exchanges at the Stadio Olimpico and deservedly took the lead in the ninth minute thanks to Arjen Robben's trademark bending effort. Mario Gotze doubled Bayern's advantage midway through the first half and Robert Lewandowski scored a third two minutes later. Polish forward Lewandowski then set up Robben's second on the half-hour mark to silence most of the 65,000 spectators. After 36 minutes, Thomas Muller made it 5-0 when he converted from the penalty spot following a handball by Kostas Manolas. Roma's Gervinho struck in the 66th minute but Franck Ribery and Xherdan Shaqiri came off the bench to add two more goals for the visitors before the final whistle. The outcome has lifted Bayern five points clear of nearest rivals Roma, who remained in second after Manchester City's 2-2 draw at CSKA Moscow in the other group game. The hosts went into the contest unbeaten in the competition and looking to leapfrog Bayern into first place. But the visitors stamped their authority on the game early and went in front when Philipp Lahm set up Robben in the area and the Dutchman cut inside on his left foot and shot towards the far post, out of the reach of Roma goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis. The Romans reacted and seconds later, Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer had to save Gervinho's left-footed attempt from the heart of the area. Shorly after, Lahm spotted Lewandowski in the box and his effort was kept out by De Sanctis. Bayern coach Pep Guardiola did not have to wait long to see his side double the lead and do so in style. Gotze played a superb one-two with Muller and he struck the ball from just outside the area past a helpless De Sanctis. As Roma struggled, Bayern again made them pay. A defensive distraction left Lewandowski unmarked in the box and the Pole headed Juan Bernat's cross into the back of the net. Bayern's attacking display continued and Lewandowski engineered his team's fourth. His perfect pass towards the far post found Robben, who got past his marker Ashley Cole and slotted the ball towards the back of the net. Roma's nightmare was not over as the referee pointed at the spot after Manolas blocked the ball with his arm inside Roma's area. Muller stepped up to take the penalty and slotted the ball towards the right post to beat De Sanctis. Roma were unlucky not to score in the 54th minute when Gervinho's shot hit the near post with Neuer beaten. Seconds later and Neuer denied Roma's first with a good save from Alessandro Florenzi's close-range effort. Roma's efforts paid off when Gervinho headed Radja Nainggolan's cross from five yards past Neuer. Bayern made it 6-1, however, in the 78th minute when Robben fed Ribery and he chipped the ball over De Sanctis. Two minutes later, De Sanctis was unable to hold on to Rafinha's powerful strike and Shaqiri pounced on the loose ball to fire past the Roma keeper.