Arturo Vidal scored an early goal as Bayern Munich settled for a 1-0 victory against Portugal team Benfica in the first leg match of their Champions League quarter-final encounter.
The Chilean midfielder headed in Juan Bernat’s cross from the left in Bayern first attack of the game, but the five time European Champions failed to build their advantage, struggling to find opportunities against a well-organized Benfica.
There was also a distinct lack of energy to Bayern’s play and the home crowd became increasingly frustrated as the game wore on.
Vidal had most of the chances for the rest of the game, but Benfica’s defenders had also done well to suppress Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller, Bayern’s top-scoring forwards.
Furthermore, most Bayern players appeared curiously lethargic and often let-down by poor decision-making, with an example was when Lewandowski opted to pass to Frank Ribery when one-on-one against Benfica keeper Ederson.
This was Pep Guadiola’s 150th competitive game in charge and also his 114th win in with the Bundesliga champions. Even before the game, he insisted that Benfica had the best defense in Europe, but remains optimistic about Bayern’s chances.
“We had enough goal chances. We’ll go to Lisbon with the intention of winning the game, of scoring a goal or two,” he said.
His counterpart, Benfica boss Rui Vitoria believes that his team too, have what it takes to cause an upset at home.
“It’s all open. Bayern is one of the best teams in the world. But we will give in Lisbon our best.”
“We had our problems, but our attitude was right. I’m very happy with our performance,” he added.