A first-half strike by Karim Benzema gave hosts Real Madrid a 1-0 victory over holders Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal tie.
The goal came, predictably, off a counter attack in the 19th minute as the Frenchman deposited a Fabio Coentrao’s low cross pass Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.
Real’s counter attacking ability was a big reason why many considered them the biggest threat to Bayern Munich in the tournament, and the first half leg illustrated why.
Bayern dominated possession from start to finish (a whopping 72% for Pep Guardiola’s men) but failed to create any good scoring opportunities. Instead it was the hosts who looked more likely to score, and frankly should have scored more than one goal with both Cristiano Ronaldo and Angel di Maria missing on easy chances to extend the lead in the first half.
It should set up for an intriguing return leg at Munich, with Real holding a slight advantage. Will those missed opportunities come back to haunt Madrid?