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Schweinsteiger and Robben gave a comfortable lead for Bayern

bayern win first leg play off champions leagueBayern Munich took a comfortable lead of 2-0 after their first clash with FC Zurich from first leg play off  in the Champions League.

Bavarian giants were the better team at "Allianz Arena" and quite deservedly reached the success with hits of Bastian Schweinsteiger in the 8th and Arjen Robben in the 72nd minute.

The visitors were first to attack and Amine Chermiti had a warning shot sail over the bar early on. However, Bayern showed more bite, and Schweinsteiger struck shortly thereafter. Arjen Robben whipped in a dangerous cross from the left, and after a slight deflection from Mathieu Beda, the Germany international nodded into the lower-right corner of the net.

Philipp Lahm should have made it 2-0 in the 12th minute, but Johnny Leoni made an excellent save after the full-back had surged into the left side of the penalty box. The defender turned provider shortly thereafter as he set up Mario Gomez, but the off-form striker hesitated and the chance went begging before he even had the opportunity to shoot.

A similar situation arose on the half hour mark as Gomez was through on goal, but stopped in his tracks as he tried to put the ball on his favoured right foot.

Possession was rare for Zurich, and even more scarce were opportunities on goal. Chermiti headed a free kick straight into Manuel Neuer's arms, but was nonetheless called offside, and Ricardo Rodriguez had a long-ranged blast miss a couple yards wide.

Not satisfied with the result of the first 45 minutes, Bayern came out firing in the second half. Following some good lead-up play from Franck Ribery, Gomez missed an absolute sitter from the edge of the six-yard box on 51 minutes. Moments later, The Frenchman's drive was parried, but Leoni recovered to deny Lahm's follow-up.

Ribery was unlucky not to make it 2-0 on the hour mark as his free kick clanged the right post, but Robben eventually got the vital second goal as he struck a trademark left-footed effort into the upper-left corner.

Zurich tired late in the game and the hosts pressed on for more. Gomez looked to finally have his goal, but Dusan Djuric cleared his effort off the line after the striker had rounded Leoni.

The visitors managed to avoid conceding a third time, but things nonetheless went from bad to worse late in the game. Defender Mathieu Beda received his marching orders for a second yellow card, meaning that he will miss the second leg of the tie.

Bayern will be pleased to have kept a clean sheet for the third time in four competitive matches this year, and to bring a multi-goal lead into the return fixture. However, Zurich are not to be under-estimated and can head into the second leg with hope - albeit slim - of reversing the tie.

 

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