Robert Lewandowski curled in a spectacular free kick to give Bayern Munich a 1-0 win over Atletico Madrid in a Champions League match between two already qualified teams on Tuesday.
Bayern’s win stretched its record to 15th straight Champions League home victories and ended Atletico’s hopes of winning all six group matches. But Atletico still won Group D with 15 points, while Bayern finished with 12.
By holding PSV Eindhoven to a 0-0 draw, newcomer Rostov clinched third spot and a place in the Europa League.
While Bayern’s win meant nothing for the group outcome, it boosted the German champion’s morale after two straight setbacks against the Spanish side. Atletico eliminated Bayern from last season’s semifinals and again beat the German team at home in the group stage.
“We didn’t give the ball away and we didn’t allow them to have their dangerous counterattacks,” Bayern coach Carlo Ancelotti said.
Lewandowski scored in the 28th minute after Yannick Carrasco had needlessly given away a free kick. Lewandowski took the shot and curled the ball over the wall and inside the post from 18 meters (yards) out for his fifth goal in this season’s competition.
“I’ve been practicing free kicks consistently this season and I think I can do them pretty well by now,” Lewandowski said.
Earlier, Carrasco had forced Manuel Neuer into two good saves for Atletico’s only real chances of the match. At the other end, Jan Oblak did well to turn away Douglas Costa’s shot from a tight angle.
Arjen Robben had two calls for a penalty denied after the break, while Thiago Alcantara squandered Bayern’s best chance of the match by sending the ball sky high from four meters (yards) out from a low cross from Juan Bernat.
Ancelotti rested several key players, including Franck Ribery and Philipp Lahm.