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Football: Benzema strike gives Real advantage over Bayern

Published on Apr 24, 2014 5:51 AM
Real Madrid's Karim Benzema celebrates after scoring a goal against Bayern Munich during their Champion's League semi-final first leg match at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on April 23, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

MADRID (AFP) - Real Madrid took a huge step towards their first Champions League final in 12 years as Karim Benzema's first-half goal gave them a 1-0 first-leg lead over holders Bayern Munich at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The Frenchman was on hand to turn home Fabio Coentrao's cross on 19 minutes and Madrid's advantage could have been even greater had Cristiano Ronaldo and Angel di Maria not missed fine chances before the break.

Bayern had the overwhelming majority of possession but failed to convert it into many sights of goal as Iker Casillas' save from Mario Goetze five minutes from time was the only significant stop the Spanish captain was forced into all evening.

Defeat leaves the Germans with all to do next Tuesday, if they are to continue their quest to become the first side to retain the trophy in the Champions League era.

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