Vitoria warns Bayern to prepare for a battle in Lisbon

Bayern Munich's Arturo Vidal celebrating after scoring the only goal of their Champions League quarter-final, first-leg match against Benfica at the Allianz Arena.
Bayern Munich's Arturo Vidal celebrating after scoring the only goal of their Champions League quarter-final, first-leg match against Benfica at the Allianz Arena.PHOTO: REUTERS

MUNICH • Benfica's manager Rui Vitoria has warned Pep Guardiola's Bayern Munich to expect a fight in Lisbon following the Bavarians' 1-0 win in Tuesday's Champions League quarter-final, first-leg tie.

Arturo Vidal netted just 109 seconds into the first leg at the Allianz Arena to give the Germans the lead for the second leg on Wednesday.

But from the rapturous reception they received on their return home to the comments from their players and manager, it was clear Benfica regarded defeat as a moral victory.

"My players implemented our strategy very well and I am proud of our good performance. It's not easy to get a result and most teams have great difficulties here," said Vitoria at a stadium where Bayern had scored 18 goals in their four previous home European games.

"So I am very, very happy with the way we played. Everything is still open and we will fight for every centimetre in Lisbon."

Benfica can take plenty of heart before the second leg after the defensive pairing of Victor Lindelof and Jardel succeeded in keeping Robert Lewandowski off the score sheet. Full-backs Andre Almeida and Eliseu also nullified Franck Ribery and Douglas Costa.

"Bayern certainly wanted to win 5-0 but we played superbly," midfielder Nicolas Gaitan told reporters. "We'll be much stronger in our own stadium, with the backing of our supporters."

The Portuguese league leaders, however, will be without top scorer Jonas. The 32-year-old picked up a second-half booking, his third of the tournament, which means he will be suspended for the return.

Bayern manager Pep Guardiola was also satisfied despite his team failing to take their few chances on a frustrating night.

"I am very happy, because I know the level of the opponent," he said.

"In the quarter-finals of the Champions League, it is always the second leg which decides things. We'll fly to Lisbon to win the game."

Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer pointed out that the key thing for Guardiola's side was that they did not concede an away goal.

"Benfica's defence stood up well and we missed out on that second goal," said the German. "But despite all that, we can be very happy with the result, because we kept them to nil. That was the most important thing."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 07, 2016, with the headline 'Vitoria warns Bayern to prepare for a battle in Lisbon'. Print Edition | Subscribe