Bayern sink 'Yellow Submarine'

Allianz Arena - Bayern Munich progressed to the last 16 of the Champions League for the fourth year running after a comfortable 3-1 victory over Spanish side Villareal.

The Bavarians 11th home win in their last 12 Champions League encounters was never in danger once man-of-the-match Franck Ribery opened the floodgates on just 2 minutes after being played in by the lively Toni Kroos.

Anatoliy Tymoshchuk (7 mins.), Arjen Robben (8 mins.) and David Alaba (14 mins.) all went close for what was a rampant Bayern outfit. Damage limitation seemed to be the order of the day for a Villareal side ravaged by injuries to key players, including ex-Manchester United striker Guiseppe Rossi.

Mario Gomez doubled the advantage on 23 minutes, tapping in from close range after a rasping Tymoshchuk drive rebounded off the post. Gomez is now the competition's leading scorer with six goals, ahead of Lionel Messi of Barcelona.

The visitors grabbed a lifeline five minutes into the second half when Dutch midfielder Jonathan de Guzman scored with a sweet volley.

But the La Liga side lacked purpose and belief and were unable to prevent a fifth consecutive Group A defeat.

Franck Ribery sealed top spot in the group on 69 minutes after taking advantage of more poor defending and another incisive ball from Kroos to finally sink the 'Yellow Submarine' and restore the two-goal cushion.

With Manchester City losing 2-1 at Napoli, the 'Reds' now hold an unassailable five-point lead at the top of the 'Group of Death.'

Coach Jupp Heynckes was delighted with the result. "It was a very tough group with teams from the four best leagues in Europe," he said after the game. "We progressed with ease."

"We won the group - I have to pay a huge compliment to the coach and his team," added FCB CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

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