Bayern: European mission done, now league

BERLIN - Bayern Munich must address their poor league form after qualifying in convincing style for the Champions League knockout round, their captain Philipp Lahm said on Thursday.

Bayern topped Group E with five wins out of six games and signed off with a 3-0 defeat of Basel, but lie seventh in the Bundesliga and a huge 17 points off top spot.

"We can tick the Champions League off for now and we must put all our efforts into the league and (German) cup," defender Lahm said.

"We are Bayern Munich and all that matters are victories."

While their league campaign has stuttered their European run was near perfect, a lone defeat at AS Roma in their penultimate group game the only minor blemish after winning the first four to record their best ever start.

"It may not have been the toughest of groups but we did it," said coach Louis van Gaal, who led Bayern to the Champions League final and the domestic league and cup double last season in his first year in charge.

"It may have looked easy but it was anything but. I can only be satisfied. We scored many goals and let in only a handful. You could not really ask for anything more."

Bayern scored a German record 16 goals while conceding only one per game as they set a new national record of 15 points to top their group.

With the Champions League resuming in mid-February, Bayern will use the break to make up some of the lost ground in the league as they seek to defend their title.

Van Gaal has admitted the 17 points separating them from top spot may be too many but captain Mark van Bommel still holds out hope.

"For this season I have not given up hope yet," said Dutchman van Bommel, only recently back from injury.

"We are so many points behind that our realistic aim should be to finish second but we always have to go for the title."

Several more key players, including Arjen Robben, Miroslav Klose and defender Holger Badstuber will be back from injury in January.

There is also growing speculation that Bayern, who made no transfers in the summer, will go shopping for defenders in the winter transfer window to strengthen their erratic backline and their chances of climbing the table.