Match report: Vidal so vital to Bayern against Benfica

Arturo Vidal: one goal strike good enough for Bayern

Arturo Vidal’s early goal secured Bayern Munich a 1-0 victory over Benfica in the Champions League quarterfinal first leg on Tuesday night.

The German giants controlled the proceedings from the kick-off to grab a bright start thanks to the second-minute opener by Vidal. However, Bayern were unable to build up on their early goal as Benfica gained a foothold into the game.

Pep Guardiola’s men seized the reins from the start to break deadlock with barley two minutes played after Juan Bernat’s pinpoint cross found Vidal, who nodded home from inside the box, at the far post.

The hosts pressed the Portuguese outfit into the defence to work out a number of promising chances. Robert Lewandowski missed the target before Benfica custodian Ederson denied Douglas Costa’s low effort with ten minutes on the clock.

Benfica’s goalkeeper was again on guard to defuse Thomas Mueller volley from very close range in the 20th minute. The visitors from Lisbon created their first chance three minutes later as Vidal had to block Nicolas Gaitan’s volley.

As the match progressed, Benfica posed more threat meanwhile Bayern lacked in penetration in the second half. The visitors had even the opportunity to restore parity but Jonas was unable to overcome Bayern keeper Manuel Neuer following a one-on-one situation inside the box with an hour into the game.

Jonas was again in the thick of things moments later after squandering two chances in a quick succession. Javi Martinez blocked his initial effort before Neuer palmed away the rebound from close range.

Bayern turned up in the closing period but neither Franck Ribery nor Lewandowski were able to double the lead. With the result, Benfica will just have to overturn a one-goal deficit at the second leg in Portugal next Wednesday.

“I am happy with the result because I know how good our opponents are. We head to Lisbon with the intention to advance into the next round,” Bayern coach Pep Guardiola said.