- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 21, 2014

ROME (AP) - Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich lineup is finally starting to resemble his Barcelona team that revolutionized football not too long ago.

Arjen Robben scored twice as Bayern routed Roma 7-1 on Tuesday for a club-record away win in the Champions League, showing the German club is once again among the favorites to take the title.

Having taken target practice in a 6-0 rout of Werder Bremen at the weekend, it was more of the same from Bayern early on at the Stadio Olimpico with five goals in the first half.

“It seemed like watching Barcelona again, with small, rapid players running all over the place,” Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi said.

Robben put the 2013 champion ahead nine minutes in with an expertly curled shot from a tough angle, before Germany’s World Cup hero Mario Goetze doubled the lead in the 23rd and Robert Lewandowski made it 3-0 in the 25th.

Again taking advantage of poor defense from Ashley Cole, Robben scored his second goal on the half-hour and then Thomas Mueller added a penalty in the 35th after Kostas Manolas was whistled for a handball at the edge of the area.

Gervinho pulled one back for Roma in the 66th, 10 minutes after hitting the post, but then substitutes Franck Ribery and Zherdan Shaqiri added more goals for Bayern.

Bayern’s previous biggest away win in the Champions League was a 5-0 victory at Sporting Lisbon in the first knockout round in 2009.

Guardiola took over Bayern last season and, although he secured the Bundesliga title, his club lost on 5-0 aggregate to Real Madrid in the Champions League semifinals.

“Last season we had the legs but not the mindset,” Guardiola said. “We needed to decide things a split-second quicker and now we’re doing that.”

The transfer of midfielder Xabi Alonso from Real Madrid has added more Spanish flavor to Bayern.

“He’s one of the most intelligent players I’ve coached,” Guardiola said.

The outcome matched Roma’s heaviest defeat in the competition, a 7-1 loss at Manchester United in the 2007 quarterfinals.

“This is a fluke,” Guardiola said. “It’s not normal to win 7-1.”

Bayern has nine points atop Group E, five clear of Roma. Manchester City has two points and CSKA Moscow one.

Earlier, City wasted a two-goal lead in a 2-2 draw in Moscow.

“The only good news tonight came from City and CSKA, which allowed us to stay second in the group,” said Roma coach Rudi Garcia, who took responsibility for erring in his tactics and acknowledged that his squad should have sat back more.

“Tonight they were better than us. We were spectators,” Garcia added. “It shows us we have a way to go to reach the level of the world’s top squads.”

Bayern’s win extended the unbeaten streak for Josep Guardiola’s club to 12 matches in all competitions, with the last loss to Borussia Dortmund in the German Super Cup in mid-August.

Roma entered full of confidence after a strong start in Serie A but its lack of experience in Europe was glaring - the Giallorossi are back in the Champions League after a three-year break.

“We’ve got to look for the positives. This could be a lesson that helps us in the future,” Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi said. “They’re clearly superior but we could have done better. I don’t have a clear explanation for why we conceded all these goals.”

Robben set the tone with a world-class goal, fooling Cole and curling a shot inside the far post.

Then poor defense left Goetze alone to score from the edge of the area following a backheel pass from Mueller, two minutes before Lewandowski was left unmarked to head in a cross from Juan Bernat.

Garcia replaced Cole with Greece defender Jose Holebas at halftime and also pulled captain Francesco Totti for Alessandro Florenzi but the damage was done.

Gervinho’s scored by finishing off a counterattack with a header following a cross from Radja Nainggolan.

Ribery then collected a pass from Robben and scored with a lob shot in the 78th and Shaqiri added a rebound in the 80th after Morgan De Sanctis failed to collect a shot.

Despite the rout, Roma fans applauded their club at the final whistle, while the 5,000 Bayern fans in attendance celebrated wildly.

The teams meet again in two weeks in Munich.


Andrew Dampf can be followed at www.twitter.com/asdampf

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