Bayern Munich cruised into the knockout stage of the Champions League and simultaneously ensured that second place in Group F will go down to the final day thanks to a 4-0 victory over Olympiakos at the Allianz Arena. Following a 5-1 hammering of Arsenal last time out, Bayern needed a frankly absurd set of results to go against them in order to fail to march on from the group phase. But Pep Guardiola’s side were leaving nothing to chance, and sauntered to victory thanks to goals from Douglas Costa, Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Müller and Kingsley Coman. Even the loss of Holger Badstuber to a red card early in the second half couldn’t derail Bayern’s dominance.
The result means not only do Bayern move into the last 16, but they will do so as group winners. Second place in the group will now go down to the wire, with Olympiakos left to scrap it out with Arsenal for the runners-up spot in two weeks’ time. Following Olympiakos’ 3-2 win at the Emirates earlier in the campaign, Olympiakos need to avoid a two-goal defeat or a high-scoring single-goal loss in order to progress.
They could have avoided such drama with at least a point in Munich, but from early on it was clear Bayern were in no mood to take it easy. The opening goal arrived just eight minutes in. Jerome Boateng was given an invitation to fire off a shot from distance and when it proved too hot for Roberto in the Olympiakos goal to handle, Costa was on hand to continue his exceptional start to life at Bayern with a finish into the far corner.
Another eight minutes later, the score was 2-0 and Bayern were already moving out of sight. Again it was a shot from far out that helped create the opportunity. On this occasion, it was Coman cutting in from the left and striking an effort that arrowed into the back of Lewandowski’s legs but was quickly brought under the striker’s control before he effortlessly found the net. Despite the season being only three months’ old, it was the Poland international’s 20th goal of an exceptional campaign.
Before the 20-minute mark had been reached, the result had been put beyond any doubt. Olympiakos were all at sea as Coman’s mishit volley bounced up for Robben at the far post, and the Dutch winger headed it unselfishly across the face of goal for Müller to supply a trademark simple finish.
The only disappointment on the night for Pep Guardiola’s side was the ejection of Badstuber. Starting his first match of the season, the injury-plagued defender was shown a straight red card after bringing down Brown Ideye and in the eye of the referee denying the Nigerian striker a clear goal-scoring opportunity. Still, it had little impact on Bayern on the night. With just over 20 minutes remaining, Coman got the goal his earlier play merited when bravely charging in ahead of Roberto to meet Müller’s flick on and head the ball past the stranded goalkeeper.