Only Ribery untouchable at Bayern, says Gomez

The prolific striker believes that every player at the Bundesliga champions could be replaced without any problems bar the Frenchman

Fiorentina striker Mario Gomez has voiced his opinion that every player at Bayern Munich is dispensable except Franck Ribery.

The Germany international, who is currently sidelined due to a knee injury, opted to leave the Allianz Arena for the Serie A side in the summer transfer window after he was deemed surplus to requirements and he has stressed that only one man is guaranteed a first-team berth.

“Bayern do not depend on any individual players. Their game only slightly changes when Franck Ribery isn’t there,” Gomez told 11Freunde.

“All the others can be replaced without too much trouble.

“The rotation system at Bayern makes it nearly impossible to play week after week, even when you’re putting in some top performances.

“I asked myself whether I would be happy with limited playing time and I decided that wasn’t good enough for me.”

Gomez, 28, is expected to be unavailable for six to seven weeks due to his knee injury.

Champions League Team of the Round: Messi, Ronaldo and Rooney lead an all-star attack

This week’s hat-trick heroes are duly rewarded for their efforts while two of Basel’s miracle-workers at Stamford Bridge are handed a place in the side

The Champions League returned in sumptuous style this week, and faces both new and familiar have forced their way into Goal‘s XI for the first round of group-stage fixtures.

In goal, Johan Wiland was in sensational form as Copenhagen secured a memorable point against Juventus. A back three sits in front of the Swede: David Alaba fired Bayern Munich into the lead against CSKA Moscow before ensuring another European clean sheet for the holders; meanwhile, Schalke’s Atsuto Uchida may have been fortunate to find himself on the scoresheet, but there was nothing lucky about his tireless exertions up and down the wing in the win over Steaua Bucharest. In the middle, young Fabian Schar of Basel gets the nod after leading his side to a quite incredible win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

In the centre of the park, Shakhtar’s Alex Teixeira finds himself included after two sublime goals against Real Sociedad, while the opposite flank is manned by Mohamed Salah, who gave Ashley Cole a torrid evening on Wednesday before firing a brilliant goal for Basel at the Bridge. Thiago Motta headed in a rare double to cap a commanding display in Paris Saint-Germain’s win at Olympiakos, and he is partnered in the centre by Koke, whose masterful display in Atletico Madrid’s victory over Zenit belied his tender years.

In attack, there is little room for debate. Wayne Rooney was back to his best for Manchester United, scoring twice and creating another in the 4-2 win over Bayer Leverkusen. He sits just behind hat-trick heroes Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, who began their scrap for the top of the Champions League podium by putting Galatasaray and Ajax to the sword in their respective fixtures.

Neuer: CSKA Moscow never troubled Bayern

The Germany interntional was pleased with the way his side dealt with the Russian champions in Tuesday’s convincing win at the Allianz Arena

By Fabio Porta

Manuel Neuer has voiced his delight with Bayern Munich’s 3-0 win over CSKA Moscow in Tuesday’s Champions League Group D encounter and feels the titleholders were never in any serious trouble.

David Alaba gifted the Bundesliga giants an early lead when he found the net from a free kick after just four minutes, with Mario Mandzukic and Arjen Robben making it three in a comfortable and confident win for the hosts.

“I am very satisfied. We started pretty well with David’s free kick. That was a real boost and we continued in the same manner after the opener. They never troubled us and we got a great win,” Neuer told Goal.

“It’s never easy to record a comfortable win in your first Champions League game of the season, yet we managed to do just that, so we have every reason to be pleased.

“It’s never easy to play against an opponent that you don’t really know. You know what to expect if we’d faced Manchester City, for example. Even though CSKA are the Russian champions and cup winners, they’re still a bit of an unknown quantity.

“We did a good job against them, though.”

Bayern travel to Manchester City on October 2 in their second Groud D encounter.

Robben: Bayern in a process of development

The attacker was pleased with his side’s performance on Tuesday but acknowledged there is still room for improvement this season

Arjen Robben has stressed that Bayern Munich are still developing the current side in the wake of their 3-0 Champions League victory over CSKA Moscow on Tuesday.

The Bundesliga champions impressed with a comfortable win at the Allianz Arena with Robben scoring the final goal of the night in some style, yet the Netherlands international has urged his team-mates not to get carried away with their form.

“We’re in a process of development and we can still get better. But we’ll take it on from here,” Robben was quoted as saying on the official Bayern website.

“We played well, but we have to keep our feet on the ground. CSKA were good opponents, so winning 3-0 is a good start. The first task is to survive the group stage, and then we’ll take it as it comes.

“It felt good to play in the Champions League again. It’s a fantastic feeling when you hear the Champions League anthem. We were all looking forward to it. There was a difference compared to Saturday.”

Bayern resume Bundesliga action on Saturday when they travel to Schalke.

Guardiola: This is Bayern's style of play, not mine

After watching the Bavarians make an impressive start to the defence of their European crown, the Catalan coach insisted that he deserved no credit for the performance

Pep Guardiola was quick to deflect all of the praise onto his players after Bayern Munich’s 3-0 win over CSKA Moscow in their Champions League clash on Tuesday.

Goals from David Alaba, Mario Mandzukic and Arjen Robben did the damage at the Allianz Arena, and their Catalan trainer felt that it was the team, and not the coach, that deserved the credit for an impressive performance.

“The style we play is Bayern’s style, not mine. I’m here to support my new players and I’m very proud of them today,” Guardiola told reporters after the one-sided Group D encounter.

Bayern are aiming to be the first team in Champions League history to win the competition in two consecutive seasons, but Guardiola stressed that retaining the title is an onerous task right from the off.

“The first game after winning the Champions League is never easy. Everyone always thinks it’s easy, but it’s not,” he insisted.

“But I’m very satisfied with the performance, especially our first-half display, which was very pleasing.”

Bayern’s performances this season have come in for criticism from some quarters, as club director Matthias Sammer hit out at the players’ lack of effort, though his comments were not taken to heart by Guardiola and president Uli Hoeness.