MUNICH – Bayern Munich will take a slender advantage into the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final against Benfica after Arturo Vidal’s early goal gave them a 1-0 win on Tuesday.
Vidal headed home after two minutes but the floodgates failed to open after that as Benfica’s defence stayed resolute on a frustrating evening for the hosts.
Five-times European champions Bayern had found goals easy to come by in the Champions League this season, blasting 18 in their previous four home matches, but came up against a solid Benfica rearguard as they pushed to extend their advantage.
Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski had a superb chance to add a second in the dying stages but bizarrely opted to try and pass to Philipp Lahm when through on goal and it was wasted.
Bayern got off to a superb start when Vidal put them ahead as the Chilean got on the end of Juan Bernat’s excellent cross to head comfortably past Benfica keeper Ederson.
That was not the cue, however, for the expected goal rush as Benfica, twice European champions in the 1960s, kept possession despite creating few real chances.
They could have inflicted a punishing blow to Bayern, however, midway through the second half when Jonas’s shot cannoned back off Bayern’s Javi Martinez when the goal was gaping.
Benfica, who came into the game in a rich vein of form having won 19 of their last 20 games in all competitions, might now fancy their chances of causing an upset in next Wednesday’s return leg.