Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich did just enough to defeat Rui Vitoria’s SL Benfica by the score of 1-0 at the Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany in the first leg of the 2015-165 UEFA Champions League quarterfinals. Arturo Vidal’s second minute goal was all Bayern needed to hold a 1-0 advantage heading into the second leg at the Estadio da Luz in Lisbon, Portugal.
“I’m very satisfied because I know our opponents’ quality and because our performance was very good,” said Guardiola. “All credit to my team. In the Champions League quarter-finals the return is decisive. We travel to Lisbon aiming to win the match.”
“It was similar to the game against Frankfurt, although we didn’t have as many chances,” said goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. “Benfica kept it very tight, they have an extremely good back four. We had a few chances at the end. Unfortunately we failed to make it two, but we can still be satisfied with the result because we’ve kept a clean sheet and that was the most important thing. Sometimes you have to be content with a 1-0 win. It’ll be tight in Lisbon, but we want to make the semi-finals. That’s our big target.”
“We wanted to concentrate on defending,” said David Alaba. “Benfica launch long balls up to their strikers, but we dealt with it well and put in some good work defensively. The balance was OK. Lisbon stretched the game out so there was a lot of space between the lines. That’s not so easy to deal with. We’ve kept a clean sheet and that was our target. Our aim was to win. It would definitely have been a lot more comfortable if we’d have scored a second or third goal.“
“Benfica are a good team. We created a few one-on-one situations in the first half, but they adapted to us better in the second half,” added Thomas Muller. “Our approach was good even though we didn’t create that many clear-cut chances. We’d obviously have liked to score another goal but as it is we’re 1-0 up. It’s a good result at home. We didn’t want to take too many risks. We’ll need to produce another focused performance next week.“
“The players followed our tactical plan very well,” said Vitoria of Benfica’s performance. “I’m very proud because we’ve produced an excellent performance here. Our attitude was very good and I’m pleased with the way we played. Obviously our plan didn’t involve conceding an early goal, but we were still in a position to cause Bayern problems. It’s still wide open, the return is yet to come and we’ll give it our best shot in Lisbon.“