By JOHN BOSCHINI
A season removed from a surprising run to the 2010 Champions League Final, Bayern Munich are looking like the team to beat this time around.
Mario Gomez netted a hat trick as Bayern Munich rolled to an impressive 3-2 victory over Napoli. The German striker opened the scoring by finishing off a pass from Bastian Schweinsteiger in the 17th minute. The lead was doubled with a right-footed shot six minutes later. Gomez then finished off the victory just before halftime with a close-ranged goal.
Federico Fernández pulled a goal back before the break and took advantage of Holger Badstuber being sent off 12 minutes from time. Fernandez's header from six yards out gave Napoli hope of stealing a point in Germany but the Italians were unable to complete the comeback.
It wasn't all good news for Bayern though, as Schweinsteiger suffered a broken collarbone.
Bayern has taken 10 points from a possible 12 and has all but sealed their passage to the knockout rounds.
In other Champions League results:
MANCHESTER CITY 3, VILLAREAL 0
Yaya Toure scored a brace while Mario Balotelli slotted home a penalty as Manchester City rolled over a Villareal side that has been woeful in Europe this season. Toure accepted a nifty through-ball from David Silva and finished with a low shot in the 30th minute. Balotelli sent the keeper the wrong way for his goal just before halftime before Toure put the result beyond all doubt with 19 minutes left to play.
INTER MILAN 2, LILLE 1
Inter Milan might be struggling in domestic play but the Italian giants held serve in Europe with a 2-1 victory over Lille. Walter Samuel scored in the 18th minute and Diego Milito made in 2-0 with 22 minutes left. Tulio De Melo brought a goal back in the final 10 minutes but it proved to be little more than a consolation goal.
TRABZONSPOR 0, CSKA MOSCOW 0
Both teams remained deadlocked with five points in Group B after a scoreless draw. CSKA hold the goal differential advantage but welcome Inter Milan on November 22 as Inter try to lock up qualification.
MANCHESTER UNITED 2, OTELUL GALAT 0
Manchester United were pressed at times by the cheapest team in the Champions League but moved to the top of Group C with a 2-0 victory. Antonio Valencia opened the scoring inside 10 minutes and Wayne Rooney added a vital insurance goal with a deflected shot deep into the second half.
AJAX 4, DINAMO ZAGREB 0
Ajax smashed Dinamo as the Dutch champions are one win away from a place in the final 16. Gregory Van der Wiel, Miralem Sulejmani, Siem de Jong, and Nicolas Lodeiro provided the goals.
REAL MADRID 2, LYON 0
Cristiano Ronaldo scored with a stunning free kick and added a penalty as Real Madrid remain the only team with a perfect record in Champions League. Ronaldo's penalty marked his 100th goal for Real Madrid in just his third season with the club, which officially booked its place in the knockout stages.
BENFICA 1, BASEL 1
Rodrigo scored after just four minutes to give Benfica an early lead but Benjamin Huggel equalized midway through the second half. Benfica keeps second place in Group C but Basel remains within striking distance thanks to a valuable point.
What did you think of today's games? Is Bayern a legitimate title contender? Which Manchester club do you see making a deep run? Could Ajax surprise some people?
Share your thoughts below.