- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 5, 2014

MUNICH (AP) - Bayern Munich cruised past Roma 2-0 on Wednesday to make sure of advancing to the knockout stage of the Champions League.

Goals by Franck Ribery and Mario Goetze on either side of halftime also secured first place in Group E for the five-time champion, with two matches to spare.

Bayern won in Rome 7-1 two weeks ago and dominated again, but this time Roma defended better, without much ambition in attack.

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“The 7-1 was an accident, a result once in a lifetime,” Bayern coach pep Guardiola said. “They are pros, they don’t want to lose and they played good defense. We stepped up our game in the second half.”

Roma began the match with Francesco Totti, Gervinho and Miralem Pjanic on the bench, while Bayern rested Thomas Mueller. Bayern winger Arjen Robben missed the match with a stomach problem.

Bayern now has 12 points from four wins in four matches. Roma and CSKA Moscow have four points each. Moscow won 2-1 at Manchester City, which has two.

Bayern went ahead in the 38th, when Ribery sent David Alaba racing down the left flank. The Austria international played the ball back to Ribery and the winger slotted home, with the ball bouncing off the inside of the post into the net.

Goetze secured Bayern’s victory in the 64th after a cross from Robert Lewandowski. Goetze displayed outstanding control to lift the ball softly past Roma goalkeeper Lukasz Skorupski.

“We knew it wouldn’t be that easy as in Rome,” Bayern captain Philipp Lahm said. “They defended well, often with six men, and it wasn’t easy to create chances.”

Ribery, starting only his second match after a knee injury, said Roma defended well in the first half, when Bayern had few chances apart from the goal.

“But we played better in the second half and it’s been a nice week for us,” Ribery said.

Lahm narrowly missed the target and a chance to make it a three-goal lead and Alaba’s free kick sailed wide.

Gervinho came on late in the game and created Roma’s only decent opportunity, setting up Radja Nainggolan, but Manuel Neuer produced an outstanding save to deny Roma.

Bayern was never forced to switch into a higher gear and Roma rarely managed to hold the ball long enough to threaten the German champion.

Guardiola’s team became the first German side to make sure of winning a Champions League group with two matches to spare.

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