Bayern maintain perfect start
By Mark Townsend
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Bayern Munich made it three straight wins after a 1-0 victory against Sporting Lisbon.
Bayern Munich made it three straight wins after a 1-0 victory against Sporting Lisbon at the Jose Alvalade Stadium.
Bastian Schweinsteiger's thunderbolt from 35 yards secured the points but the German champions had to play nearly all the second half with 10 men after the midfielder was harshly dismissed.
But a disciplined performance secured the three points as the Portuguese outfit struggled to break down their opponents, who have yet to concede a goal, in an unimaginative second-half performance.
Bayern went into the game with a positive attitude, employing three strikers - Roque Santa Cruz, Claudio Pizarro and Lukas Podolski - and, after weathering some early pressure, began to take control.
After seven minutes Schweinsteiger had the first shot of the match but it was too straight and Ricardo punched it away in unorthodox fashion and three minutes later the visitors appeared to have won a penalty.
A shot by Mark van Bommel was only palmed away to Pizarro and the Peruvian looked to be held back by Marco Caneira, with the goal at his mercy.
However Norwegian referee Terje Hauge waved play on but they were not to be denied after 19 minutes when Schweinsteiger left Ricardo with no chance with a screaming shot.
The midfielder picked the ball up a good distance out before unleashing a rocket which swerved across the keeper to extend the Germans' run of finding the net in Champions League games to 13 games.
And four minutes later it should have been two.
Ricardo misjudged a deep cross by Willy Sagnol to leave Pizarro with a clear sight of goal but the header was mis-directed and fell just the wrong side of the upright.
Carlos Martins brought the hosts to life with a run and shot out of nothing and Schweinsteiger, somewhat harshly, and then Andreas Ottl were soon booked as the pressure began to tell.
Oliver Kahn had to make his first real save just after the half-hour mark when Liedson produced a superb shot after sneaking in past Daniel van Buyten and Alecsandro Barbosa then tested the keeper again but his header, from a Martins cross, was poorly directed.
Moments later there was another scare for the German champions as Philipp Lahm almost headed into his own net when attempting to clear his lines.
Anderson Polga was the next to go close from another corner but the lead was almost doubled at the other end when Ricardo was flapping at air again and van Buyten headed just over.
The second half saw Yannick come on for Martins and Martin Demichelis replace Ottl and the game quickly sparked into life again when Yannick was brought down by Schweinsteiger.
The tackle merited more of a booking than his first offence but the German was rightly aggrieved to have to leave the field.
Liedson almost followed him down the tunnel after kicking out (and missing) at Sagnol after the Frenchman clattered the striker to the ground with play already halted for an offside.
There followed a flurry of substitutions with Bayern coach Felix Magath forced to withdraw two of his attackers and leave Pizarro to lead the line on his own.
Rodrigo Tello tested Kahn with a free kick from 25 yards but the chances were few and far between though Polga hit the outside of the upright after the Germans failed to clear a corner properly.
Yannick remained the best hope for Sporting and, after a one-two with Liedson, shot straight at Kahn and, with 20 minutes remaining, danced into the box but his effort was weak and the keeper easily saved.
The cards continued to flow but the chances did not and Hasan Salihamidzic and Pizarro gave the visitors some respite up front and the Bosnian tested Ricardo with a low shot which the keeper did well to hold on to.
There was to be one last chance as substitute Carlos Bueno nearly pounced on a flick-on by Tonel but it dropped wide and the four-time champions virtually assured themselves of a place in the knock-out stages.
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|Sporting Lisbon||Team Statistics||FC Bayern München|
|0||1st Half Goals||1|
|5||Shots on Target||4|
|15||Shots off Target||6|