Beating Man City was surprisingly easy: Arjen Robben

Oct 04, 2013, 00:53 IST | AFP

After thumping Man City 3-1 in a Champions League tie, Bayern winger admits they were expecting a harder contest

Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben claimed he and his teammates were taken aback by the straightforward nature of their 3-1 win at Manchester City in the Champions League.

Franck Ribery
After a sweeping pass from Rafinha finds Franck Ribery wide on the left. He brings the ball down, cuts inside Jesus Navas, and despatches a fierce right-foot shot from 25 yards that beats goalkeeper Joe Hart (top) at his near post. Pics/Getty Images

The defending champions produced a masterful display at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday, scoring through Franck Ribery, Thomas Mueller and Robben before Alvaro Negredo claimed a late consolation goal for the home side.

“The first 70 minutes we played some terrific football,” said Robben, who has now scored in five successive Champions League games, including the decisive goal against Borussia Dortmund in last season’s final.

Thomas Mueller
Thomas Mueller (right) ghosts in behind Gael Clichy to bring down Dante’s lofted pass. He then evades Hart’s wild jump to tuck the ball home

“We were so dominant against a big team in Europe. We didn’t expect an easy game like that. It is a compliment to our team, but we expected more from City.

“We didn’t give them any space, we pressed them right up to the goalkeeper, and they just kicked it away. Sometimes they gave us too much space and we used the space well.

Arjen Robben
Mueller robs the ball off Fernandinho and feeds Robben (left) who streaks past Matija Nastasic before beating Hart. City salvaged some pride in the 80th minute when Alvaro Negredo curled home from the edge of the box

“City weren’t as organised defensively as we had expected, but there were some attacks of ours that simply were fantastically executed. When things go your way like that, it’s a lot of fun out on the pitch, especially against a quality team like City.”

Man United held
Elsewhere, David Moyes’ United, after their worst start to a domestic campaign in 24 years, were held to a dour 1-1 draw by Shakhtar Donetsk in a game that went ahead without injured Wayne Rooney.

The stalemate, after Danny Welbeck’s early opener was cancelled out by Taison 14 minutes from time, left United level pegging with Shakhtar at the top of Group A, after Bayer Leverkusen beat Real Sociedad 2-1.

For United veteran Ryan Giggs, who came on as a substitute in the second half, it was a match to remember as he overtook Raul as the player with the most appearances (145) in Europe’s top club competition.

Madrid, PSG win
Meanwhile, Real Madrid and Paris Saint Germain emerged with comfortable wins on Wednesday. Real drubbed FC Copenhagen 4-0 at the Bernabeu with doubles from Cristiano Ronaldo and Angel di Maria.

The nine-time European kings — without Gareth Bale (thigh strain) — are well on course for the Last 16, four points ahead of Juventus, who were held 2-2 by Galatasaray.

Didier Drogba gave Galatasaray the perfect start, putting the Turkish club into the lead — but Juventus hit back with a late double from Arturo Vidal’s penalty and Fabio Quagliarella before substitute Umut Bulut bagged the equaliser two minutes from time.

At the Parc des Princes, PSG were sitting pretty on six points and occupying the Group C summit after their 3-0 win over Benfica.

The moneyed Parisians indicated they are genuine title contenders with a stunning first-half display thanks to superbly-worked goals scored by Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marquinhos and another effort by the Swede. 

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