Football - Brilliant Bayern raise the bar with Manchester mauling

Bayern Munich were basking in the afterglow of Wednesday's stunning 3-1 Champions League victory over Manchester City that put the holders well on course for early qualification into this season's knockout stage.

Reuters

The dominant Bavarians made a mockery of pre-match predictions of a close encounter and rode roughshod over their big-spending hosts to carve a 3-0 lead before taking their foot off the gas and conceding a late consolation goal.

With two wins from as many games, including the crucial away victory in Manchester, Bayern could be forgiven for starting to plan past the pool stage ahead of the home-and-away fixtures against Group D whipping boys Viktoria Plzen.

"For about 80 minutes we played an almost perfect game," club president Uli Hoeness told reporters.

"I cannot remember ever having so much possession or having played such unbelievable football in an away game against such a big-name opponent. I can only congratulate the team. What they offered was summa cum laude (with highest honour)."

Bayern, who have yet to taste defeat in any competition this campaign and have gone 32 league games without losing, have shed none of last season's treble-winning power and speed.

They have improved, however, in keeping the ball with more than 70 percent possession in the first half against a team bidding to challenge for Europe's premier club title.

New coach Pep Guardiola has also fine-tuned their quick passing game and constant pressing as he eyes a new record, with Bayern seeking to become the first team to defend a Champions League title.

On Wednesday, they were already 3-0 ahead after an hour with Franck Ribery silencing the crowd after seven minutes as Thomas Mueller and Arjen Robben added second half goals.

"We certainly never imagined such a game," Robben said. "A huge compliment to the team. We used the spaces so well and there were some attacks from us that were just super."

With City coach Manuel Pellegrini already throwing in the towel for top spot in the group, Bayern are keen to advance as soon as possible.

"We took a very big step towards the round of 16," Mueller said. "Everyone saw that this was hugely deserved. It makes us all happy the way we played."

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