Viktoria Plzen 2-4 Bayern Munich: Record victory sends Bundesliga giants through
Bayern Munich's historic Champions League group stage run continued with a 4-2 defeat of Viktoria Plzen on Wednesday.FotMob - 8 months ago
Bayern Munich beat Viktoria Plzen 4-2 to make it a record 11 straight Champions League group stage victories and seal their place in the last 16.
Julian Nagelsmann's side – who are struggling to hit their best form domestically – went into half-time four up after goals from Sadio Mane, Thomas Muller and a Leon Goretzka double had Wednesday's contest at Doosan Arena settled by the break.
Adam Vlkanova and Jan Kliment reduced the deficit in the second half, but Bayern were never in any real danger of succumbing to a comeback.
Bayern moved onto 12 points in Group C, out of reach of third-placed Barcelona, ensuring progression to the knockout stage.
The Bundesliga champions were ahead within 10 minutes, Mane playing a clever one-two with Goretzka before coolly poking past Jindrich Stanek.
They doubled their lead four minutes later through Muller, who slotted home after connecting with Kingsley Coman's low cross.
With Plzen's defending leaving much to be desired, Bayern made sure to capitalise – Goretzka curling in to add a goal to his earlier assist in the 25th minute.
An injury to Muller threatened to sour a rampant first half, though Goretzka soon had his second when he dinked over Stanek from Leroy Sane's neat pass.
Erik Jirka nearly got a goal back for Plzen after the restart, but he could only hit the side netting with a powerful drive, before Sven Ulreich parried a Ludek Pernica header onto the bar.
Ulreich was beaten in the 62nd minute – Vlkanova finding the bottom-left corner with a wonderful strike from outside of the area.
Kilment's excellent finish gave the hosts a slither of hope, but Bayern saw out the remaining minutes with ease.
What does it mean? Brilliant first-half secures safe Bayern passage
Bayern sealed their progression with a sublime performance in the first 45 minutes, and though they took their foot off the pedal a little late on, Nagelsmann will still be pleased with the dominant victory, especially in the wake of giving up a lead late on against Borussia Dortmund in Der Klassiker on Saturday.
The visitors held 68.3 per cent of the possession and recorded an expected goals (xG) of 2.9 to Plzen's 1.1, while also completing 386 more passes than their opponents as they thoroughly outclassed the Czech champions.
Goretzka's display was a sight to behold, with the midfielder registering two goals and an assist before making way for Ryan Gravenberch before the hour.
He converted two of his three shots on target while also winning possession back seven times, a joint-high for Bayern.
While the game was effectively over when was replaced Coman at half-time, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting will still be disappointed with his performance after coming on.
The Cameroon international failed to register a shot, while completing just 10 passes in the Plzen half as he struggled to impact the game.
Key Opta Facts
- Plzen have conceded 16 goals in four games in the Champions League this season – only BATE Borisov (19) in 2014-15 conceded more goals after four matchdays in a single campaign.
- Bayern scored their fourth goal in the 35th minute of this match – the only side to score four goals quicker away from home in the Champions League is Bayern themselves, against Roma in October 2014 (30th minute).
- Plzen have never kept a clean sheet in a home game in the Champions League, conceding 26 times across their 11 matches on home soil.
- Only Robert Lewandowski (69) has scored more goals in the UEFA Champions League for Bayern than Muller (53).
- Muller has now scored more than twice as many goals as any other German player in the competition (Mario Gomez, 26).
Both teams return to domestic action on Sunday, with Bayern hosting Freiburg while Plzen travel to FK Jablonec.