Germany's Bayern Munich took a giant step toward the quarter-finals of the Champions League by winning their first-leg matches away from home in the round of 16. The Bavarians blew away Sporting Lisbon 5-0.
Ribery had a night to celebrate with the rest of the Bayern team
The German champions made history with the widest ever away victory margin in the Champions League by trouncing Sporting Lisbon 5-0.
Bayern, who went into the game on the back of a miserable start to the second half of the Bundesliga side and lost 2-1 at home to Cologne on the weekend, started much stronger in Lisbon.
Sporting are the only team left in the Champions League who have never reached the competition's quarter-finals and the thumping they received at home has likely put that goal out of reach this season as well.
Munich were caught flat-footed by Cologne in the Bundesliga
Although Bayern still had problems creating chances in the first half, the defense stood tall, and, somewhat against the run of play, Franck Ribery gave the visitors the lead three minutes from the break after claiming the ball close to the center line.
The French international ran through the Sporting half, evaded two markers and waved away Italian striker Luca Toni, opting to shoot himself, and he made no mistake, slotting past Sporting goalkeeper Tiago.
Bayern added a second in the 57th minute when Germany striker Miroslav Klose stole past his marker and pushed a long cross from Massimo Oddo over the goal line. As Toni just touched the ball with his head before it came to Klose, the scorer was in an offside position, but referee Bertrand Layec gave the goal.
Worse was to follow for Sporting as Fabio Rochemback brought down Germany defender Philipp Lahm in the area just five minutes later, and Ribery made no mistake from the spot to make it 3-0.
Problems at home
Klinsmann said there is still plenty of room to improve for Bayern
Late in the game, Toni added two more with Ribery providing the assists in both cases to totally humiliate the home side.
Bayern coach Juergen Klinsmann said that even though he was proud of his side, they needed to concentrate on their next game.
"I am hopeful that this has given the side a boost ahead of our next game in the Bundesliga," he said. "I am confident that the players will not get carried away by this result. The team can be proud of their game in Lisbon, but we now need to concentrate on the Bundesliga."
Bayern captain Mark van Bommel also that the victory was great but means little if they don't follow it up with a good game in the Bundesliga.
"After the win, there was no euphoria amongst the players in the change rooms," he said. "On Sunday we have an important Bundesliga match, and we are looking towards that. We played a good game and made it very difficult for them to get through."
Author: Sean Sinico (afp/dpa/reuters)
Editor: Nick Amies