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Bayern Beat Roma 2-0 in Cruise Control, Win Group E

Bayern's 2-0 win over AS Roma secures the top spot in Group E and a place in the Round of 16.

Matthias Hangst

AS Roma came to Munich with fresh memories of the 7-1 pounding only a few weeks ago, but this time around the two teams were pretty evenly matched. Bayern Munich controlled possession while Roma kept their midfield tight, ultimately forcing the Bavarians out on to the wings. That didn't stop either side from having their fair share of chances. Philipp Lahm, Rafinha and Mario Götze all tried to bring the ball in to the box for Robert Lewandowski, but their efforts were blocked.

Fifteen minutes in to the match Bayern began to pick apart Roma's midfield and defense. Götze played a pass to Juan Bernat but the Spaniard was too slow to take his shot and was blocked by Vasilis Torosidis. On the other side, Alessandro Florenzi chipped a pass over Bayern's defense to Radja Nainggolan. Manuel Neuer went in for the challenge and Nainggolan went down. Roma wanted the penalty but the referee said play on.

Bayern were noticeably missing the spark they had in Rome and both teams were having chances on either side of the pitch. Bayern seemed content with playing a patient game with a lot of possession. Finally, in the 38th minute, David Alaba came bounding down the left, squared a perfect pass to Franck Ribéry and Bayern took the lead. Just like that. (WATCHDream Team Ribery and Alaba combine to score the first goal of the night.)

The first half came to an end with a yellow card for Xabi Alonso for a foul on Juan Iturbe. At this point two weeks ago, Bayern were already leading by 5 goals.

The second half was all Bayern. The Bavarians exploited the space left in Roma's midfield and they had chance after chance. Bernat, Rafinha and Götze all made runs only to be shut down by the opposition's defense. Alaba made a run through the middle and latched on to the end of a Rafinha pass, but sent the ball over the goal.

Bayern almost scored from a corner for the first time in - by our count - six thousand years. Skorupski left the net wide open but Mehdi Benatia sent it wide. That will be their only chance on a corner for another several millennia.

Bayern doubled the score in the 64th minute starting with a pass from Jerome Boateng. Lewandowski linked up with Götze who sent the ball over the keeper's head and in to the back of the net. (WATCHMario Götze makes it 2-0.) Roma responded instantly, almost making it 2-1, but Boateng put an end to Iturbe's chance.

With twenty minutes to go, Xherdan Shaqiri came on for Alonso. Huh? Lahm played a nice pass in to the box for him but the ninja turtle lost balance and toppled over. Sebastian Rode made his Champions League debut, replacing Alaba, who came off and immediately sought treatment for a knock on his knee.

Ashley Cole and Gervinho combined brilliantly, forcing Manuel Neuer to once again prove he's the best keeper in the world. He saved a shot by Gervinho from close-range and got to his feet in time to save another shot from Nainggolan. Oh, man.

With that win, Bayern have won Group E and secured their place in the knockout rounds. The next two matches against Manchester City and CSKA will give Guardiola the ability to rest and rotate his squad.

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