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CSKA vs. FC Bayern | Recap

Bayern leave Moscow with three snow-covered goals and a notable first appearance as they remain atop their group in Champions League play.

Alexander Hassenstein

The first half saw snow, ice, passes, shots and a goal lumped together in 45 minutes that could have passed for entertainment any day of the week.

As odd and exciting as it was seeing the white-clad Bavarians deal with the elements, it was more pleasurable to see them begin to fire on all cylinders for periods of time in the attacking areas of the field.

More than once, they strung 20-odd passes together without letting CSKA have a touch of the ball, but the story of the half wasn't so simple.

Manuel Neuer was forced to make several saves after his defense failed to clear Moscow's probes forward properly, but just like Bayern, Moscow's best chances would come through passing creating opportunities.

Ahmed Musa's chance was stamped out by two defenders and CSKA wouldn't threaten again in the first 45, after dictating the pace of play in the first 10 minutes to no avail.

Bayern, meanwhile, began their methodical passing game to the tempo of Bach's Fugue in G Minor and would strike within 20 minutes courtesy of their flying Dutchman.

Kroos made a brilliant interception before playing an equally impressive pass through the CSKA defense to Müller on the left flank, who squared it across the elbow of the box to Arjen Robben. Robben, on his first touch, gave Igor Akinfeev no chance as he beat the Moscow goalkeeper to his near post.

In the 28th minute, Philipp Lahm puled up injured with what the FC Bayern twitter account called a "dead leg" a little while after it occurred:

No word as of yet regarding the plans for a private or public funeral for his leg, but expect an announcement within 24 hours. Neuer was made captain after Lahm's exit.

More time passed with Bayern spreading play about the field, with Kroos instigating most of the threatening looks, and with halftime 30 seconds from beginning, shouts for handball came from the FCB players who thought that a Müller cross had hit the hand of CSKA defender Kirill Nababkin. Turns out, despite the referee's decision, it did. Which is odd considering the referee was closer to it than anyone except the offending player.

The second half was measurably worse for the backline, but about as effective for the attacking players.

Just two minutes into the half, an Akinfeev clearance sailed over the entire Bayern defense, including the nearest and most responsible defender, Jerome Boateng, and right to an onside Keisuke Honda who had nothing but green grass and a green goalkeeper between him and the equalizer.

Credit to Manuel Neuer, who made himself as big as possible and eventually got the save, but Honda hesitated much, much too long and never got a shot away in the end.

About a minute later, Honda cost CSKA again, failing to tap in a Nababkin cross from very close range.

In the 56th minute, Bayern doubled their advantage through Mario Götze.

After receiving a pass from Kroos, Götze dribbled 6 Moscow players and the goalkeeper to put his stamp on the match in what was probably his best singular moment in a Bayern kit thus far, outside of the matchwinner away to his old club last weekend.

Götze got the pass just as he slipped inside the two men marking him, allowing the young German to dash forward unencumbered until he reached the penalty area, where he broke left twice before shooting with his left back across goal.

Not out of the woods by any stretch, Bayern had a rather harsh penalty called against them only four minutes later when the referee judged Dante's hand to have smacked down a CSKA chance inside the area. The Brazilian's hand, however, couldn't have been much closer to his body than it was and given the proximity from which the shot was taken, not much else could have been done on his part.

The match's goat to that point, Honda, scored with ease as he had Neuer going the wrong direction, and the score now stood at 1-2.

Just after that, the whirlwind of a second half got yet another penalty and goal, this from Thomas Müller after Robben was stonewalled in the box for the easiest call this referee had to make all evening- and good thing it wasn't left up to chance.

Müller's attempt was just like Honda's moments earlier in direction and result, and Bayern restored their two-goal lead through it.

The rest of the match was uneventful by comparison, but it did see German-American Julian Green make his first appearance in the Bayern first team after lighting up the Amateure side for most of this season.

The match was Bayern's 10th consecutive Champions League win, dating back to the first leg against Juventus, setting an all-time record.

Bayern remain atop their group and will win it unless Manchester City win today against Plzen and away to Bayern while racking up a massively positive goal difference in the process.

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