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 by the visitors.
Benfica 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 and Vidal had timed his run into the box perfectly to head past Ederson.
At the other end, Benfica appealed 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.