Bayern down Zurich for draw place
A first-half goal from German forward Mario Gomez was enough to book Bayern Munich's place in the UEFA Champions League main draw on Tuesday as the German giants beat FC Zurich 1-0 in their play-off second-leg match to win 3-0 on aggregate.
Bayern will go into Friday's draw as one of the ten play-off winners who join the 22 automatic entrants in the group-stage draw in Monaco. Bayern - who are hoping to go all the way to the final which is being staged at their home ground - join fellow Bundesliga sides Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen in the main draw.
Jupp Heynckes' side had few problems in Zurich as the hosts rarely troubled goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, while Bayern barely got out of second gear.
"It was important for us to get an early goal, so that we had a commanding 3-0 lead," said Bayern coach Heynckes. "After that the tension wasn't so great in the team. It was very important for Bayern Munich to be in the group stages."
Heynckes started with eight members of the Germany side in his line-up, but without fragile Dutch star Arjen Robben, who is struggling to overcome a back injury.
The Dutchman managed to score in Saturday's 5-0 drubbing of Hamburg last Saturday in their Bundesliga match, but sat out on the bench in Switzerland.
Having lost Croatian striker Ivica Olic with a hip injury for up to eight weeks after the Hamburg victory, the Germans must wait to see if Gomez joins the walking wounded after he limped off on 46 minutes, clutching his hamstring.
When the opening goal came, three players from the German national side combined to wrap up the tie. A superb pass from Toni Kroos on the halfway line allowed team-mate Thomas Mueller to dart around his marker and sweep up field, before squaring to an unmarked Gomez who fired home on seven minutes.
It was a smooth move finished with a well-struck shot, which gave Swiss goalkeeper Johnny Leoni no chance.
Even without Robben and Gomez, Bayern had the Swiss league runners-up on the back foot in the second-half as French winger Franck Ribery and Gomez's replacement Nils Petersen combined to create several chances, which all went begging.