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Match Analysis: Real Madrid 1-0 Bayern Munich

Sports Mole dissects the action as Real Madrid record a 1-0 win over Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final in Madrid.

Real Madrid will take a one-goal advantage into the second leg of their Champions League semi-final with Bayern Munich following a 1-0 win in the Spanish capital this evening.

Bayern dominated possession for much of the 90 minutes, but could not make the breakthrough as Karim Benzema's first-half strike separated the two sides at the Bernabeu.

Here, Sports Mole dissects the 90 minutes of action between the two European rivals.

Match statistics

Real Madrid
Shots: 9
On target: 7
Possession: 36%
Corners: 3
Fouls: 10

Bayern Munich
Shots: 14
On target: 9
Possession: 64%
Corners: 15
Fouls: 10

Was the result fair?

Bayern had most of the ball at the Bernabeu this evening, but were simply too predictable against a well-drilled Madrid outfit. The home side hardly saw possession in the first 45 minutes as Bayern passed and probed in the final third, but it was Los Blancos that could and should have entered the interval with a comfortable lead. Benzema opened the scoring, but Cristiano Ronaldo and Angel di Maria were both guilty of missed opportunities. Bayern continued to dominate possession in the second period, but really struggled to create clear openings. Overall, a one-goal Madrid victory was just about the right result this evening.

Real Madrid's performance

Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso said in the build-up that his side would be more than happy to concede possession for long spells against Bayern and that indeed proved to be the case. However, it was the perfect gameplan from Carlo Ancelotti as Los Blancos continued to threaten a nervous Bayern defence on the counter-attack. But for some poor finishing, as previously mentioned, they might have led 3-0 at the interval. It was Madrid's defensive solidarity that impressed most this evening, however, with Pepe and Sergio Ramos both terrific at the heart of the defence. Alonso and Luka Modric were also brilliant in supporting their back four, with Bayern really struggling to break through. Ronaldo and Gareth Bale both played their part despite injury and illness and both should start the second leg next week. Ancelotti will fancy his side's chances of finding the back of the net in Germany, which would leave Bayern needing at least three goals to progress to the final.

Bayern Munich's performance

It was a confident, composed start from the German champions as they utterly dominated possession in the early exchanges. However, there was no real threat in the final third. Too often their play was predictable, with Arjen Robben their only forward forcing the issue in the first 45 minutes. That also proved to be the case in the second period, with Mario Mandzukic and Frank Ribery both extremely ineffective. Bastian Schweinsteiger, Toni Kroos and Phillip Lahm were selected as a midfield three, but Madrid were always comfortable in dealing with the threat from deep areas. Last season, it would have been difficult not to see Bayern scoring in this particular match, but their level has certainly dropped in recent weeks since they steamrolled to the German title. There were also a number of nervy moments in defence, with neither Dante nor Jerome Boateng really convincing for long spells. One thing is for certain - they will need to perform much better in the second leg if they are to become the first team since AC Milan in 1990 to successfully defend the European Cup.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Luka Modric: In short, Modric was just sensational this evening. Alongside Alonso, the Madrid midfielder provided a constant support to his back four throughout the 90 minutes. The Croatian has been given a licence to roam for Los Blancos this season, but it was his defensive qualities and reading of the game that earns him the man of the match award tonight. His overall performance was summed up in the final minute when he stooped to head clear a dangerous Bayern cross in the left-back position. It was just about the complete midfield performance from the 28-year-old.

Biggest gaffe

As mentioned, both Ronaldo and Di Maria were guilty of missing golden first-half chances for the home side. However, it is Bayern midfielder Mario Gotze that was most at fault this evening. The German international, who entered as a second-half substitute, found himself all alone inside the Madrid box in the latter stages, but fired his effort straight at Iker Casillas, who made a smart save. It was far from an easy opportunity, but one that a player of his talent should have taken.

Referee performance

Howard Webb had an extremely impressive evening in the Spanish capital. The experienced Englishman did not award a single booking until the 57th minute when Madrid midfielder Isco handled inside his own half. That proved to be the only card of the evening as the official kept a lid on proceedings. Webb, who will go to the World Cup this summer, is widely regarded as one of the best referees in Europe and further enhanced his reputation with a confident performance on the biggest of stages.

What next?

Real Madrid: Los Blancos resume their La Liga challenge this weekend with a home clash against Osasuna.

Bayern Munich: Meanwhile, Bayern, who have already been crowned Bundesliga champions, host Werder Bremen.

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Real Madrid's French forward Karim Benzema celebrates after scoring during the UEFA Champions League semifinal first leg football match Real Madrid CF vs FC Bayern Munchen at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on April 23, 2014
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