With a clean sheet and a one-goal advantage, Bayern's Thiago Alcántara and Franck Ribéry are both feeling positive about this week's quarter-final decider at Benfica.
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A 1-0 home win against Benfica was an excellent result as far as Thiago Alcántara and Franck Ribéry are concerned, with the Bayern München duo excited at the prospect of Wednesday's UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg in Lisbon.
Arturo Vidal put Bayern in front inside two minutes last Tuesday, but Bayern were unable to build on that early advantage, being worked hard by Rui Vitória's side. If some felt short-changed by the team's performance over 90 minutes, midfielder Thiago told UEFA.com a single-goal victory was not to be sniffed at.
"We won without conceding," said the Spanish international. "These knockout matches are not like league games, where you just need to score as many as possible and concede as few as possible. We've done a great job and we're looking forward to the return match in Lisbon."
Forward Ribéry agreed. "We wanted to go out and play a great game against Benfica," he told UEFA.com. "We played really well and we won without conceding. It is the Champions League – there are no easy games."
Ribéry's satisfaction was all the greater for receiving special praise from coach Josep Guardiola for his showing – "it's always flattering and positive when a manager says good things about you," he noted. Having missed the bulk of 2015 through injury, the Frenchman is thrilled to be playing regularly again.
"It was a very tough time for me when I was injured for such a long period," said the 33-year-old winger. "Now I'm lucky enough to be playing again and rediscovering the pleasure of playing. It was very hard for me mentally. Now I'm back with the team and on the pitch. I'm really enjoying it and very happy to have got back to my best so quickly."
He will need to be at his sharpest in Lisbon when the tie is settled, with Thiago expecting another open game. "It will be a very even match," the 25-year-old predicted. "They played a compact game [in Munich], with the defenders going forward and trying to attack as well. Normally when you play away you play defensively, but they didn't – they played their usual way. So I guess when they play at home they will play the same way."