Arturo Vidal gives Bayern edge on Benfica

Bayern Munich 1 Benfica 0: Bayern Munich will take a slender 1-0 lead to Portugal after an organised defensive display from Benfica at the Allianz Arena in the Champions League quarter-final first leg.

Arturo Vidal’s second-minute goal was all that separated the two teams on an evening when Bayern were unusually subdued for long periods and struggled to break down their opponents, who grew into the game as it went on.

Pep Guardiola hailed Benfica’s defensive unit as Europe’s best in the build up to the game. While that was not evident early on as Bayern scored with their first attack, the claim held water for much of the contest as the likes of Thomas Muller, Franck Ribery, Robert Lewandowski and Douglas Costa were largely kept quiet.

The visitors will be disappointed with the goal they conceded, though.

Another diagonal pass after 10 minutes almost had them in trouble again as Eliseu Pereira was left exposed against Douglas but Ederson did well to smother and hold the low shot from his fellow Brazilian with Lewandowski lurking for any rebound.

At the other end, Benfica asked for a penalty when Nicolas Gaitan’s low cross struck the trailing arm of Philipp Lahm as he slid in to make a block but Polish referee Szymon Marciniak was unmoved.

Lewandowski spurned a glorious chance to make it 2-0, rejecting the opportunity to shoot from Vidal’s through ball and instead over-hitting his attempt to tee-up Lahm with the goal gaping.

Bayern Munich:

Neuer, Lahm, Kimmich (Javi Martinez 59), Alaba, Bernat, Vidal, Douglas Costa (Coman 71), Muller (Gotze 85), Thiago, Ribery, Lewandowski.

Benfica:

Ederson, Andre Almeida, Lindelof, Jardel, Eliseu, Pizzi (Samaris 90), Fejsa, Sanches, Gaitan, Jonas (Salvio 82), Mitroglou (Jimenez 72).

Referee:

Szymon Marciniak (Poland).


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