Ribery helps Bayern crush Villarreal
Franck Ribery scored two goals to help Bayern Munich advance to the last 16 of the Champions League as group winners with a 3-1 victory over Villarreal on Tuesday.
Ribery found the net in the third and the 69th minutes as Bayern capitalized on mistakes by Villarreal's defense. Mario Gomez scored another for Bayern in the 24th, while Jonathan De Guzman struck for Villarreal in the 50th.
Bayern's victory ensured that the Bundesliga powerhouse will win Group A no matter what happens in the final round of matches.
Seeking to reach the final that will be played at its stadium, Bayern is five points clear of Napoli and six in front of Man City while Villarreal has zero after slipping to its fifth straight defeat in the group.
''We are proud that we made sure of winning this tough group before the last round,'' Gomez said. ''We didn't allow them many chances and we were always present at the decisive moments.''
Ribery chipped the ball over goalkeeper Diego Lopez to put Bayern ahead early on following a mistake by Villarreal central defender Carlos Marchena.
Bayern's Toni Kroos easily picked off Marchena's dreadful pass deep in Villarreal's half and sent the ball on the left to Ribery. The Bayern winger had no problems finding the back of the net over Lopez.
Arjen Robben threatened in the eighth but Lopez held onto the ball.
Villarreal's Borja Valero was booked for arguing about a penalty claim that wasn't awarded in the 20th, although replays showed Bayern captain Philipp Lahm handled the ball.
Villarreal had more reason to complain after Bayern's second goal as well. Anatoliy Tymoshchuk struck the post with a powerful shot from 20 meters (yards), and Gomez broke through to knock the rebound into the net unchallenged. But replays showed the striker seemingly offside when Tymoshchuk hit his shot.
De Guzman crossed from the right but Marco Ruben failed to connect for a diving header for Villarreal's best chance in the 39th. Shortly afterward, Valero and Ruben tested Manuel Neuer with shots from outside the area.
The Spanish side scored its goalwhen Joan Oriol intercepted a weak pass from Kroos, raced down the left flank and crossed for De Guzman to volley home.
Ribery's flying volley from a cross by Lahm went wide soon after to get the fans at Allianz Arena roaring again on a freezing, foggy night. The Frenchman than had an open header fly past the goal.
Tymoshchuk came close again in the 65th, collecting a low pass from Robben but guiding his shot over the goal.
Villarreal made another error in defending for Riberry's second. Kroos picked up the ball and sent a through pass to the Frenchman, who rounded the goalkeeper and found the empty net.
Neuer stopped a chipped effort by Marco Ruben in the 80th as Bayern cruised home without putting in too much effort.