Gomez hero as Bayern progress
A Mario Gomez hat-trick saw Bayern Munich progress into the last 16 of the Champions League at Cluj.
By Steve Pass
Last Updated: 03/11/10 10:45pm
A Mario Gomez hat-trick saw Bayern Munich progress into the knock-out phase of the UEFA Champions League at CFR Cluj.
Gomez netted on 12, 24 and 70 minutes while substitute Thomas Muller added a late fourth to maintain the German champions' 100 per cent Group E record after four games.
While Louis van Gaal's side were well on top in the first period, the Romanian hosts improved markedly after the break and twice hit the post before Gomez made sure of the win and Muller completed the rout.
Toni Kroos blasted way over with the first shot of the game in the seventh minute before Lacina Traore almost got onto a pass at the other end but Hans-Jorg Butt was out quickly to partially clear, with Rafael Bastos then trying a long-range effort which the Bayern keeper easily saved.
The visitors took the lead when Bastian Schweinsteiger found Andreas Ottl in the box. His shot was superbly saved by Eduard Stancioiu but Gomez was there to slot home the rebound from close range.
Ottl was then booked for pulling back Tomas Costa as he ran at the Bayern box, with Roberto De Zerbi's up-and-under free-kick easily caught by Butt on his line.
Gomez then doubled the advantage with a simple tap-in on 24 minutes after a great move by the visitors. Hamit Altintop crossed from the right flank into the box, with Schweinsteiger heading the ball back across goal at the far post for Gomez to tap in.
Cluj had a chance to pull one back almost immediately via De Zerbi - however Butt closed him down quickly and saved with his left leg at point-blank range.
Schweinsteiger was booked when leaving his arm high in a challenge with Tomas Costa - which means the Bayern player is suspended for the next clash at Roma - while the hosts' Rafael Bastos followed him into the book soon afterwards.
Ottl tried a long-range effort which went wide, Altintop shot straight at Stancioiu and Schweinsteiger then released Gomez into the box but his shot was saved by the Cluj keeper as Bayern finished the first period well in the ascendency.
Cluj boss Sorin Cartu brought on Ioan Hora and Edimar for Bastos and Emil Dica at the start of the second period as the Romanian champions tried to get back into the game.
His changes worked as Traore teed up De Zerbi in the box but his goalbound strike was blocked by Daniel van Buyten near the line.
Juan Culio then forced Butt into a fine save, with Felice Piccolo heading against the post from the subsequent corner.
At the other end, Ottl hit a powerful 35-yard effort which forced Stancioiu into a great fingertip save but Bayern could not capitalise on the subsequent corners.
Martin Demichelis was booked before Butt had to punch clear as Traore pressed, with Costa then blasting over from the throw-in.
Gomez survived an injury scare to continue before De Zerbi's long-range free-kick went over for the hosts.
Rada then headed against a post when unmarked from a free-kick, with his header from the subsequent corner gathered by Butt on his line.
But Gomez made sure of the win when he latched onto Schweinsteiger's precision reverse pass on 70 minutes.Stancioiu produced an outstanding fingertip save to deny substitute Muller's deflected shot late on, before Muller tapped in a fourth from Altintop's lob as last year's beaten finalists eased into the last 16.
|CFR Cluj||Team Statistics||FC Bayern München|
|0||1st Half Goals||2|
|9||Shots on Target||13|
|4||Shots off Target||5|