PLZEN: Bayern Munich cruised past Viktoria Plzen 4-2 on Wednesday, putting them through to the knockout round of the Champions League after punishing the Czech champions during a ruthless first-half display that produced four goals.
The victory combined with Barcelona’s 3-3 draw with Inter Milan put Bayern through to the knockout stage while the Czechs, who are bottom of Group C, will exit at the group stage.
“It’s always nice to win away from home. We’ve got 12 points from four games in the toughest group and we’re into the round of 16,” Bayern manager Julian Nagelsmann told reporters.
“Now we want to top the group. This win gives us the necessary calm ahead of Freiburg on Sunday. That was our goal and we achieved it.”
The Germans, who have now gone a record-extending 32 group matches in the competition without defeat, struck first after 10 minutes when Sadio Mane played a one-two with Leon Goretzka before putting the ball in the net.
An unmarked Thomas Mueller — who came off midway through the first half with a tight back as a precaution — doubled the visitors’ lead minutes later when he tapped home a cross from Kingsley Coman with only the Plzen keeper near him.
“Things tightened up a little in his back, a nerve,” Nagelsmann said. “It’s nothing major or serious but we didn’t want to take risks for the weekend.”
Goretzka, named Player of the Match, nabbed a brace to round off the scoring for Bayern as the Germans kept a toothless Plzen side in check during a clinical opening half and controlled 65 percent of possession throughout the match.
Nagelsmann made a number of changes in the second half and the Germans could not maintain the intensity as they allowed Adam Vlkanova and Jan Kliment to pull goals back for the home side.
Bayern have won all four of their group matches to sit in top spot on 12 points followed by Inter Milan on seven and Barcelona with four. Plzen remain without a point in the competition.

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By Dipak

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