City outclass Gladbach in dominant display

Bayern edge past Benfica into semi-finals with 3-2 aggregate win


Bayern Munich drew 2-2 with Benfica, as goals from Arturo Vidal and Thomas Muller helped the Bundesliga giants beat their Portuguese opponents 3-2 on aggregate in their Champions League quarterfinal tie.

The win puts Bayern through to the UCL semifinals.

Despite Bayern dominating possession in the opening 25 minutes, it was Benfica who would get on the scoresheet first. Raul Jimenez headed home from six yards out after Manuel Neuer made a questionable play on a Eliseu cross into the penalty area.

The goal put Benfica on level terms with Bayern for the tie at 1-1, and the hosts nearly doubled the lead minutes later through Jimenez again. Eduardo Salvio's cross from the right flank evaded the Bayern defense and fell right to the Mexico international's feet, but he was caught off guard and could only poke a shot right at Neuer.

Bayern's opener came in the 38th minute, with Vidal lashing a powerful left-footed shot past Benfica's Ederson to give the Bavarians an important away goal and restore their upper hand ahead of half-time.

Pep Guardiola's team came out on the front foot to start the second half and added to their lead in the 53rd minute. Javi Martinez headed a cross back toward Muller, who easily finished from close range to give Bayern a 2-1 lead.

Douglas Costa was dangerous all night on the left flank for Bayern and nearly added his team's third goal from distance, but his well-hit drive bounced off the right post and away from danger.

Vidal was lucky not to see yellow for a challenge against Benfica's Mehdi Carcela-Gonzalez. It would have been his second caution in the knockout round, which would have resulted in a suspension for Bayern's semifinal first leg.

With Bayern back in control, Benfica were awarded a free kick outside the visitors' penalty area after Javi Martinez brought Goncalo Guedes down from behind. Substitute Talisca was up to the task for Benfica, curling a lovely shot inside the near post to level the match at 2-2.

Benfica still needed two goals to take the aggregate lead, and Rui Vitoria's team kicked on, but it was ultimately in vain as Bayern held on to advance.

The Bavarians join Real Madrid, Manchester City and Atletico Madrid in the Champions League semifinals.

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