Bayern Munich reach Champions League knockouts with 4-2 win over Plzen

Bayern Munich passed Viktoria Plzen 4-2 on Wednesday and qualified them to the knockout round of the Champions League after punishing the Czech champions in a brutal first-half spectacle that saw them score four goals.

The win coupled with Barcelona’s 3-3 draw with Inter Milan moved Bayern through to the knockout stage, while the Czechs, who are bottom of Group C, exit the group stage.

“It’s always nice to win away from home. We have 12 points from four games in the toughest group and we are in the round of 16,” Bayern manager Julian Nagelsmann told reporters.

“Now we want to lead the group. This victory gives us the necessary rest for Freiburg on Sunday. That was our goal and we succeeded.”

The Germans, who now have a record 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 out with a tight back midway through the first half as a precaution – doubled the visitors’ lead minutes later when he tapped in a Kingsley Coman cross with only the Plzen keeper nearby.

“It got a little tight in his back, a nerve,” Nagelsmann said. “It’s nothing serious or serious, but we didn’t want to take any chances for the weekend.”

Named Player of the Match, Goretzka grabbed a brace to round out the score for Bayern when the Germans tamed a toothless Plzen side during a clinical opening half, holding 65 percent of possession throughout the game.

Nagelsmann made some changes in the second half and the Germans were unable to maintain the intensity as they allowed Adam Vlkanova and Jan Kliment to withdraw goals for the home side.

Bayern have won all four of their group matches and are in first place with 12 points, followed by Inter Milan with seven and Barcelona with four. Plzen remains without a point in the competition.

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