Goals: 1-0 Vidal (2')
Guardiola this week lauded Benfica's defence as the best in Europe, but they failed to stop Vidal heading home Juan Bernat's cross after only two minutes. Douglas Costa and Thomas Müller each had chances to make it 2-0, but Benfica goalkeeper Ederson held firm. After laying siege to the Benfica goal, Bayern's possession waned briefly past the half-hour and the visitors forged a couple of chances, the best of which fell to Nicolas Gaitan, who blazed over. Thiago Alcantara's training-ground free-kick nearly caught the Benfica defence out once again, but after flicking the ball over the wall, Ederson pounced on it before Müller could capitalise.
Overlapping left-back Bernat was a constant threat to the Portuguese league leaders, and he nearly teed up Robert Lewandowski for his ninth Champions League goal of the season early in the second half, but the chance was hooked away. The Bundesliga's top scorer looked favourite to score a 14th goal in 15 appearances in 2016 soon after, but he fired straight at Ederson before the flag went up for offside. Benfica striker Jonas was kept quiet for most of the first hour, but the Brazilian - scorer of 30 goals in the the Portuguese Primeira Liga this season - carved out two opportunities after good control in the Bayern box, but Manuel Neuer closed down his angles well for the first before Javi Martinez - minutes after coming on for Joshua Kimmich - blocked the second.
Bernat and Franck Ribery combined before teeing up Lewandowski inside the final 20 minutes, but the Polish striker's finish for once lacked polish. Injuries may have restricted Ribery’s appearances this season, but the former France winger looked dangerous throughout, and was unlucky not to add gloss to the scoreline in the final ten minutes when he danced past two defenders only to see Ederson beat away his chance. Lewandowski could have made sure at the death, but he overhit a pass for Philipp Lahm when both players appeared to have the goal at their mercy.
Man of the match
Vidal. The Chilean midfielder was the perfect combination of wit and grit, completing 92 percent of his attempted passes as Bayern bossed possession. He covered 11.7km in the match, most of that bounding from one box to the other, and was rewarded with his first Champions League goal in 12 months.
This was a valuable win for Bayern, though second-half chances from European Golden Shoe candidate Jonas kept the 2012/13 European champions honest. Guardiola might have to rotate his squad more heavily than he would have liked in the upcoming Bundesliga clash against VfB Stuttgart before his side look to complete their progression to the last four at the Estadio da Luz next week.
- This is the fourth time in four meetings that Bayern have beaten Benfica in the Champions League. Bayern have gone on to reach the final after each of their previous three meetings.
- It was Vidal's tenth Champions League goal, and first since April 2015, when he helped Juventus past AS Monaco in that season's quarter-finals.
- Bayern have now won all five Champions League games played at their Allianz Arena this season, scoring 19 goals in the process.
- USA coach Jürgen Klinsmann was the star of the show the last time these sides met, scoring six goals over two legs in the 1995/96 UEFA Cup third round.
Bayern: Neuer - Lahm (c), Kimmich (Martinez 60'), Alaba, Juan Bernat - Vidal - Müller (Götze 84'), Thiago, Costa (Coman 70'), Ribery - Lewandowski
Coach: Pep Guardiola
Benfica: Ederson - Almeida, Lindelöf, Jardel, Eliseu - Fejsa, Sanches - Pizzi (Samaris 90+1'), Gaitan (c) - Mitroglou (Jimenez 70'), Jonas (Salvio 83')
Coach: Rui Vitoria