KHIMKI, Russia, November 27 (R-Sport) – Bayern Munich kept up its 100 percent record in football’s Champions League this season with a 3-1 win Wednesday away to wasteful CSKA Moscow.
Bayern, now all but assured of qualifying from the top spot in Group D, claimed its fifth win from five games, while CSKA is still on course for third place and a Europa League slot, barring a late surge from Czech outsiders Viktoria Plzen.
The match was played with one empty stand at CSKA's Arena Khimki home as punishment meted out by the Union of European Football Associations for racist behavior by CSKA fans during last month's defeat to Manchester City.
In snow and freezing temperatures on the outskirts of Moscow, the game was closer than the scoreline suggested as reigning European champion Bayern was sliced open several times, only for CSKA to miss a string of easy chances.
Bayern coach Pep Guardiola set out a full-strength lineup despite the team’s current injury crisis and was rewarded when Arjen Robben scored the opener in style, lashing Thomas Muller’s cutback cross high into the net on 17 minutes.
Mario Gotze danced through the CSKA defense for Bayern’s second before beating goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev with a fine left-footed strike to make it 2-0 on 56 minutes.
CSKA pulled one back six minutes later from the penalty spot when Bayern defender Dante handballed. Japanese midfielder Keisuke Honda stepped up to score despite having recently missed two clear-cut chances from open play.
Bayern scored its third in similar style almost immediately. CSKA left-back Georgy Shchennikov brought down Robben and Muller stepped up to make it 3-1.
CSKA had plenty of chances to at least draw the game, but failed to convert them. Before his second-half penalty, Honda twice had only Bayern goalkeeper to beat, but his usually reliable footwork let him down on both occasions. First Honda received the ball over the top but hesitated before shooting, allowing Neuer to prod the ball away from his feet, and minutes later, Honda met a low cross two yards out but scuffed the ball into Neuer's arms.
Zoran Tosic also had chances for CSKA late in the game, but missed a near carbon copy of Robben's opener and soon after rattled the bar with a left-footed piledriver from the edge of the box.
Bayern dominated possession but gave CSKA goalkeeper Akinfeev surprisingly little to do, making only a total of five shots on target, three of which were goals, compared to 10 for the Russian champions.
Second-placed Manchester City hosts Viktoria in Group D’s other match later Wednesday.