Wednesday April 23 2014
CL: Madrid hold narrow advantage

Karim Benzema’s first half goal was enough to give Real Madrid a hard fought Champions League semi-final first leg win over Bayern Munich.

Bayern completely bossed possession in a game of relatively few clear opportunities but were unable to find a way through Los Blancos’ stubborn rear-guard effort.

Pep Guardiola’s visitors completely dominated the opening exchanges but it was the hosts, chasing a tenth Champions League title, who took the lead with their first shot of the game.

A swift Madrid breakaway move ended with Fabio Coentrao squaring the ball to Benzema, who stroked home from close range.

The pattern of the match continued in much the same way, with Carlo Ancelotti’s men happy to sit back and hit the illustrious German champions on the break.

It was a plan which almost brought a second goal, with both Cristiano Ronaldo and Angel Di Maria wasting good chances before half time.

The second half passed in similar fashion, with Ronaldo drilling a shot that was comfortably saved by Bayern keeper Manuel Neuer.

At the other end substitutes Thomas Muller and Mario Gotze went close to forcing an equaliser but Madrid held on for a vital clean sheet and win that arguably makes them marginal favourites heading into the second leg at Allianz Arena.

Click here for a full match report and reaction on our sister site, Football Espana.

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