Bayern only halfway home, warns Ribéry

Franck Ribéry said he was "very happy" after scoring in FC Bayern München's 2-1 first-leg victory against Real Madrid CF but warned the semi-final tie was far from over.

Bayern only halfway home, warns Ribéry
Bayern only halfway home, warns Ribéry ©

Franck Ribéry said he was "very happy" after scoring the opening goal in FC Bayern München's last-gasp 2-1 first-leg victory against Real Madrid CF but warned that the semi-final tie was far from being decided.

"I think it was very important for our confidence to win the home game against Madrid," the winger told after another inspired showing on the left. "It was a lot of fun tonight, especially with the crowd behind us, but we're only halfway there. The game in Madrid is going to be very, very tough."

The in-form Frenchman fired past the unsighted Iker Casillas to set Bayern on course after 17 minutes and though Mesut Özil replied for Madrid shortly after the restart, the hosts were eventually rewarded for a courageous second-half showing as Mario Gomez secured the win at the death.

Toni Kroos, who delivered the corner that led to Ribéry's opener, felt Bayern's overall performance merited the aggregate advantage. "I think we were the better team," said the 22-year-old. "The fact that they only had two or three opportunities shows just how well we defended. We were very highly motivated and attacked from the start. We made use of our home advantage and in the end the victory was highly deserved."

While Jupp Heynckes' charges maintained their 100% home record in this season's competition to move another step closer to a dream home final on 19 May, Özil's away goal means Madrid only require a 1-0 victory in next Wednesday's return leg to progress to the Munich showpiece.

"It would be wrong to say we've got one foot in the final," said a cautious Manuel Neuer. The Bayern goalkeeper revealed his surprise at how the Liga outfit's feted attacking threat tailed off after the interval, saying: "They scored early in the second half, but then they flattened out". However, the Germany No1 knows better than to expect an easy ride when the sides reconvene in a week's time: "We're going to have to work very hard over there. Only then will we stand a chance of reaching the final."

Meanwhile, Ribéry insisted the slenderness of Bayern's advantage would not affect their approach at the Santiago Bernabéu: "I don't think their goal will change much with regard to our tactics in the second leg. We'll stay compact, just like we did tonight. Madrid will need to attack us and that should give us the opportunity to counter."

Philipp Lahm, who quietly but effectively kept Cristiano Ronaldo under wraps throughout, agreed that "Madrid are going to have to come at us" and predicted "another 90 minutes of hard work" in the Spanish capital. "It's going to be a tough battle in the second leg," added the Bayern captain. "These are two top teams up against one another and at this level it's the smallest things which can make the difference."