Bastian Schweinsteiger and Toni Kroos scored a goal each to see Bayern Munich to a 2-1 victory over Valencia in the first match of Group F play. Nelson Valdez grabbed a late goal for Valencia, but it was not enough as they fall for their 9th defeat in Germany all time.
Valencia was missing midfielders Fernando Gago, Pablo Piatti, and David Albelda for the match, and it showed immediately after kickoff. Bayern dominated possession amassing 66%, and they didn't allow Valencia a single shot in the entire half.
For all of their dominance, Bayern struggled to find the final pass to unlock the Valencia defense. Franck Ribery was active early and often terrorizing Valencia right back João Pereira. The interchanging of Ribery, Kroos, and Arjen Robben worked well to confuse Valencia's defenders.
Bayern's best opportunity early on came in the 20th minute when Kroos ripped a left footed shot that Diego Alves had to make a diving save on to keep the match scoreless. Kroos had the freedom to press forward as often as he wanted with Javi Martinez and Schweinsteiger behind him in the holding roles.
The hosts were finally awarded for their dominant first half in the 28th minute. Ribery made another outstanding run down the left side before finding Robben just outside the penalty area on the right side. Robben slotted a pass to his outside to Schweinsteiger, and his shot struck Aly Cissokho before hitting the back of the net to make it 1-0.
Valencia came out in the second half with more bite in their game and finally tested Manuel Neuer in the 52nd minute, but the goalkeeper easily saved.
Bayern quickly regained the upper hand and began pressing forward looking for another goal. Kroos tested Alves again, but his shot was turned over the bar. Valencia almost caught them out when Sofiane Feghouli beat Dante on a ball over the top, but Jerome Boateng was there to knock the ball out for a corner that was eventually cleared.
Kroos' right foot finally struck gold in the 78th minute. Holger Badstuber, playing at left back tonight, fed Kroos, and the midfielder took one touch to settle before sending a shot across to the far post beating Alves. The goal was coming for Kroos tonight as he kept peppering the Valencia goal and testing Alves.
Valencia knocked in a consolation goal in the 90th minute when Valdez headed in a corner from Tino Costa. Bayern came back down the pitch quickly, and Robben drew a penalty and second yellow on Adil Rami. Mario Mandzukic's penalty was poor and easily saved by Alves. The referee blew the whistle for full time moments later.
Bayern will travel to Belarus to take on BATE Borisov in Matchday 2 on October 2, while Valencia will host French side Lille.
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