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Benzema gives Madrid the edge against Bayern

Published: Wednesday 23 April 2014, 22.47CET
Real Madrid CF 1-0 FC Bayern München
Karim Benzema's first-half tap-in gave the nine-time winners a slender advantage to take into Tuesday's Munich return.
by Paul Bryan
from Santiago Bernabéu

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Published: Wednesday 23 April 2014, 22.47CET

Benzema gives Madrid the edge against Bayern

Real Madrid CF 1-0 FC Bayern München
Karim Benzema's first-half tap-in gave the nine-time winners a slender advantage to take into Tuesday's Munich return.

Real Madrid CF will take a narrow lead to Germany for next Tuesday's UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg after a solitary strike from Karim Benzema proved enough against FC Bayern München.

Having been eliminated in last four in their previous three campaigns, Madrid's determination not to miss out on another showpiece at the last hurdle paid off, Benzema scoring his fifth goal of this European campaign midway through the opening period. Having failed to increase their advantage, however, the Liga giants' final ambitions will face a stern test against the holders next week.

'Kings of Europe' read the giant banner unfurled in the stadium's southern section as the teams made their way onto the pitch and with 14 European Cups between them, the description was apt. What followed was a testament to two of the continent's footballing heavyweights, meeting for a 21st time. Bayern – unbeaten in their last ten UEFA Champions League away games – took the initiative, Arjen Robben seeing an effort deflected wide before Bastian Schweinsteiger headed straight at Iker Casillas.

Visibly frustrated in the face of their guests' early dominance, Carlo Ancelotti's side flared into life and forged ahead against the run of play in the 19th minute. Fábio Coentrão ghosted past Jérôme Boateng on the left and made the most of the space, squaring for Benzema to tap in. With momentum suddenly in their favour, Cristiano Ronaldo headed at Manuel Neuer before the grateful goalkeeper gathered an Ángel Di María shot.

Back in the side following knee and hamstring injuries, Ronaldo was seeking a record 15th goal in a single European Cup campaign – and his 50th strike in the competition for Madrid – but his over-eagerness proved costly as he shot over from Benzema's centre. As the game continued to open up, Philipp Lahm struck the side-netting while Di María thumped over from close range at the other end.

Appearing in a record-extending 25th European Cup semi-final, Madrid emerged for the second half looking determined to extend their lead, Ronaldo twice drawing saves low down from Neuer. Bayern continued to maintain a high attacking line yet finding a way past the host's solid and well-organised defence – despite Pepe's withdrawal through injury – continued to prove tricky.

Substitute Thomas Müller tried and failed from distance while Mario Götze shot straight at Casillas late on. That meant a first defeat at this stadium as a coach for Josep Guardiola, leaving the Catalan tactician with plenty to ponder ahead of next week's return.

Last updated: 29/04/14 23.55CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2014/matches/round=2000482/match=2011880/postmatch/report/index.html#benzema+gives+madrid+edge

Lineups

real madrid

Real Madrid

bayern

Bayern

1
CasillasIker Casillas (GK) (C)
1
NeuerManuel Neuer (GK)
3
PepePepe
Substitution73
4
DanteDante
4
RamosSergio Ramos
7
RibéryFranck Ribéry
Substitution72
5
Fábio CoentrãoFábio Coentrão
9
MandžukićMario Mandžukić
7
RonaldoCristiano Ronaldo
Substitution73
10
RobbenArjen Robben
9
BenzemaKarim Benzema
Goal19
13
RafinhaRafinha
Substitution66
14
Xabi AlonsoXabi Alonso
17
BoatengJérôme Boateng
15
CarvajalDaniel Carvajal
21
LahmPhilipp Lahm (C)
19
ModrićLuka Modrić
27
AlabaDavid Alaba
22
Di MaríaÁngel Di María
31
SchweinsteigerBastian Schweinsteiger
Substitution74
23
IscoIsco
Yellow Card57
Substitution82
39
KroosToni Kroos

Substitutes

25
Diego LópezDiego López (GK)
29
ZingerleLeopold Zingerle (GK)
2
VaraneRaphaël Varane
Substitution73
8
Javi MartínezJavi Martínez
Substitution66
11
BaleGareth Bale
Substitution73
14
PizarroClaudio Pizarro
12
MarceloMarcelo
19
GötzeMario Götze
Substitution72
16
CasemiroCasemiro
23
WeiserMitchell Weiser
21
MorataÁlvaro Morata
25
T. MüllerThomas Müller
Substitution74
24
IllarramendiAsier Illarramendi
Substitution82
32
RaederLukas Raeder (GK)

Coach

Carlo Ancelotti (ITA) Josep Guardiola (ESP)

Referee

Howard Webb (ENG)

Assistant referees

Michael Mullarkey (ENG), Darren Cann (ENG)

Fourth official

Stephen Child (ENG)

Additional assistant referees

Martin Atkinson (ENG), Anthony Taylor (ENG)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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