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Rampant Bayern fire Champions League warning


Munich (Germany) (AFP) – Joshua Kimmich grabbed a second-half double and birthday boy Thomas Mueller was on target as Bayern Munich hammered the Russian side Rostov 5-0 in the Champions League on Tuesday.

It was an ominous warning of intent from the Germans in their Group D opener, after prolific Robert Lewandowski scored midway through the first-half from the penalty spot before Mueller doubled the lead in the second minute of first-half injury time.

Kimmich grabbed a simple third soon after the break following fine work from Douglas Costa and then the impressive midfielder headed home to make it 4-0 just minutes later.

Spanish defender Juan Bernat popped up in the box in the closing moments for number five.

Rostov, making their Champions League debut after finishing second in Russia last season, deployed the same 5-3-2 formation that brought them shock success against Ajax and Anderlecht in the qualifying rounds.

And the unheralded visitors frustrated five-time European kings Bayern in the opening quarter of an hour, throwing plenty of men behind the ball and looking to hit their more illustrious opponents on the break.

But Carlo Ancelotti, taking charge of Bayern for the first time in the Champions League after succeeding Pep Guardiola, soon saw his men make the pressure tell.

On 18 minutes Kimmich floated in a free-kick that had Rostov goalkeeper Soslan Dzhanaev stranded and moments later Lewandowski and Kimmich again both had chances.

Just before the 30-minute mark Bayern — Champions League winners in 2013 — took the lead through a Lewandowski penalty after the referee spotted the Rostov rearguard tugging at several home players in the box from a corner.

Lewandowski sent Dzhanaev the wrong way to put the Germans on their way, and they had several chances to extend their lead, with Thiago Alcantara, Mats Hummels, Arturo Vidal and David Alaba all spurning opportunities, before Alaba crossed for Mueller — aged 27 on the day — to sweep home for 2-0 moments before half-time.

Soon after half-time it was 3-0 after Costa teed up the German international Kimmich, 21, for a simple tap-in and then Kimmich rose highest to nod home unchallenged on the hour.

Also in Group D, last season’s runners-up Atletico Madrid won 1-0 at PSV Eindhoven thanks to a first-half strike from Saul Niguez.

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