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Early Vidal goal gives subdued Bayern slender advantage

Bayern Munich 1 Benfica 0

Bayern's Arturo Vidal celebrates after scoring the only goal of the night at the Allianz Arena in Munich. (AP Photo/Kerstin Joensson)
Bayern's Arturo Vidal celebrates after scoring the only goal of the night at the Allianz Arena in Munich. (AP Photo/Kerstin Joensson)
Bayern Munich's Thomas Mueller and Benfica's Jardel jump for header. REUTERS/Michael Dalder
Benfica's Jonas is tackled from behind by Arturo Vidal. REUTERS/Michael Dalder
Benfica's Jonas sandwiched between Thiago Alcantara and Arturo Vidal. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle
Benfica's goal keeper Ederson picks up ball following a goal by Bayern Munich's Arturo Vidal. REUTERS/Michael Dalder

Jermeny Wilson

Bayern Munich will take only a slender lead to Lisbon for the second leg after Benfica gave themselves hope of producing an upset with an organised defensive display at the Allianz Arena.

Arturo Vidal's second-minute goal was all that separated the two teams on a night 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.

Disappointed

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

One switch of play caught out the entire Benfica back-line and, after Ribery and Lewandowski exchanged passes, Juan Bernat curled in a cross for Vidal, who had timed his run into the box perfectly to head the ball past Ederson.

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

Benfica went close when top scorer Jonas Oliveira, with 32 goals this season in all competitions, spun away from David Alaba inside the penalty area but hit his shot straight at Manuel Neuer before Lewandowski spurned a glorious chance to make it 2-0.

Irish Independent

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