Group F in this year's Champions League is probably as close as Mitt Romney hoped last night's election would be. Although things didn't work out for Mitt, they did for Bayern as the record German title-holders dispatched of visitors Lille OSC 6-1. Heynckes opted for Claudio Pizarro in attack, Arjen Robben out wide and paired Javi Martinez and Bastian Schweinsteiger in defensive midfield.
Just as they did last night, thousands of people came to see if the points would fall in their favour and just like last night, they majority of people got the result they wanted. The Allianz Arena clearly empowers Bayern Munich as the hosts produced a performance that shone in comparison to the return fixture.
Despite the slightly cold temperature, Bayern started ferociously. A free kick in a central position, 20 yards from goal looked perfect for Robben or Ribery but it was Bastian Schweinsteiger who stepped up and a good thing too. He curled a beautiful effort in the top corner to give Bayern a fifth minute lead. There were no surprises that Bayern doubled their lead shortly afterwards. A smart one-two on the edge of the area between Pizarro and Ribery allowed the Peruvian to justify his start with a smart finish into the bottom corner. Lille were showing everyone exactly why they had failed to collect any points so far in Group F.
More evidence followed five minutes later, when Robben's free kick took a wicked deflection to leave Landreau with no chance and Lille 3-0 down. Hardly having a moment to compose themselves, the French side conceded again, shortly before the half hour mark. Lahm crossed neatly from the right and Pizarro got in front of his marker to flick the ball past the goalkeeper for his second of the night. Another five minutes later and Bayern added yet another goal, as was fast becoming customary. The fifth was nearly a carbon copy of the fourth as Pizarro opted for his head rather than his foot, completing his hat-trick in the process. Incredibly, Bayern had a chance to add even more to their tally but Landreau denied Robben, before Alaba curled his effort wide of the post.
Rather unsurprisingly, the second half started at a slightly slower pace. Lille were desperate to create something whereas Bayern seemed content to wait for their next chance, one they inevitably felt was only a matter of time. How wrong they were. Ex-Chelsea man Salomon Kalou fired in a long-range effort that hit the underside of the bar before dropping behind the line. Disbelief for both Neuer and the Allianz Arena as the scoreline read an almost untidy 5-1. 'Parity' was restored just under ten minutes later when Lahm found space once again on the right-hand side and his cross was drilled home by the substitute Toni Kroos, restoring Bayern's five goal cushion.
Despite the plethora of goals and just as they did in the first half, Bayern had chances to add even more goals to an already goal-ridden scoreline. Shaqiri's burst and pass found Kroos, who tucked back for Robben. The Dutchman's effort may have been lacking quality but the play certainly didn't. Robben was found wanting twice more before the end but despite a lack of composure from the Dutchman, it really was an outstanding performance from the home side.
Valencia's 4-2 victory against BATE Borisov keeps Bayern from topping Group F in an Obama-like outcome. Bayern return to European duties on the 20th November with an away trip to Valencia, one that looks set to decide who tops the group. Before that though, they return to domestic duty. This Saturday sees them host surprise package Eintracht Frankfurt in a potentially mouth-watering encounter.
Bayern Munich: Neuer - Alaba, Boateng, Dante, Lahm- Schweinsteiger (67' Tymoshchuk), Javi Martinez - Ribery (72' Shaqiri), T. Mueller (60' Kroos), Robben - Pizarro
Lille OSC: Landreau - Beria, Basa, Chedjou, Debuchy - Balmont, Rozehnal (46' Mavuba), Pedretti - Payet (46' De Melo), Roux, Kalou (72' Martin)
Goals: 1-0 Schweinsteiger (5'), 2-0 Pizarro (18'), 3-0 Robben (23'), 4-0 Pizarro (28'), 5-0 Pizarro (33'), 5-1 Kalou (58'), 6-1 Kroos (66')
Yellow cards: Schweinsteiger, Ribery, Tymoshchuk - Debuchy, Balmont, Mavuba
Referee: Ovidiu Alin Hategan