Thursday 14 December 2017

Bayern survive early scare to make progress

Benfica 2-2 Bayern Munich (Bayern win 3-2 on aggregate)

Benfica's Mehdi Carcela-Gonzalez in action with Bayern Munich's Thomas Muller. Photo: Reuters
Benfica's Mehdi Carcela-Gonzalez in action with Bayern Munich's Thomas Muller. Photo: Reuters
Bayern Munich coach Josep Guardiola. Photo: Reuters
Benfica's Talisca celebrates scoring their second goal. Photo: Reuters
Bayern Munich's Joshua Kimmich celebrates winning after the match. Photo: Reuters Newsdesk Newsdesk

Arturo Vidal's thunderbolt and Thomas Muller's tap-in comfortably put Bayern Munich through to the Champions League semi-finals for the fifth successive season.

Vidal, who last week headed the only goal of the first leg, powerfully volleyed home from the edge of the area 11 first-half minutes after Raul Jimenez nodded the tie level.

Seven minutes after the break Muller steered in a nod-down from a corner, giving the 2013 Champions League winners a second away goal which proved far too much for manager Rui Vitoria's side to claw back.

Substitute Anderson Talisca's free-kick gave the hosts hope, but it was too little too late as the game finished 2-2.

The result at the Stadium of Light could see Bayern boss Pep Guardiola face Manchester City, the club he will manage from the summer, in the last four.

Benfica were hindered by missing the suspended Jonas, who has scored 32 goals this season, midfielder Nicolas Gaitan with a muscular problem and striker Kostas Mitroglou also to injury.

Yet Benfica levelled the tie in the 27th minute when Jimenez, expecting to be clattered by Manuel Neuer, showed great bravery to head in Pereira Eliseu's enticing ball from the inside left.

Jimenez could have had a second three minutes later but his shot from centre of the area was straight at Neuer. That miss looked costly when Bayern equalised in the 37th minute. Santana Ederson could only palm away Philip Lahm's cross to the edge of the area, from where Vidal emphatically smashed into the left of the gaping net.

Muller then snuffed out Benfica hopes in the 52nd minute.

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