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Sports

Bayern Edge Benfica Thanks to Early Vidal Goal

Bayern's promising start did not lead to further goals as Benfica remained solid at the back

Bayern Munich's Arturo Vidal celebrates after scoring the first goal against Benfica, Photo: Reuters/Michael Dalder.
By Reuters Whatsapp Twitter Facebook Share
1 year ago

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.

Bayern Munich's Arturo Vidal scores a header goal against Benfica. Photo: Reuters/Michael Dalder.

Bayern Munich’s Arturo Vidal scores a header goal against Benfica. Photo: Reuters/Michael Dalder.

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.

Bayern Munich's Thomas Mueller and Benfica's Ljubomir Fejsa jump for a header. Photo: Reuters/Michaela Rehle.

Bayern Munich’s Thomas Mueller and Benfica’s Ljubomir Fejsa jump for a header. Photo: Reuters/Michaela Rehle.

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.

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