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Bayern v Benfica: reaction and analysis

Published: Friday 18 March 2016, 14.23CET
"Not as easy as it looks" is the message from the Bayern camp, especially after a big scare at Porto at this stage last season. But history suggests a Benfica draw could foretell glory.
Published: Friday 18 March 2016, 14.23CET

Bayern v Benfica: reaction and analysis

"Not as easy as it looks" is the message from the Bayern camp, especially after a big scare at Porto at this stage last season. But history suggests a Benfica draw could foretell glory.

  • First leg: Bayern München v Benfica, Tuesday 5 April
  • Second leg: Benfica v Bayern München, Wednesday 13 April

Facts about the tie

  • Bayern have won four of their six matches against Benfica, drawing the other two. The clubs have not played each other since 1995.
  • Bayern beat Benfica 5-1 on aggregate (0-0 away, 5-1 home) in the 1975/76 European Cup quarter-finals, and 7-2 overall (4-1 home, 3-1 away) in the 1995/96 UEFA Cup third round, going on to win the trophy each time. There were 20-year intervals between those ties: 2016 comes next!
  • They also defeated the Portuguese side in the 1981/82 European Cup second round (0-0 away, 4-1 home) and went on to reach the final again, losing to Aston Villa.
  • Bayern overcame Portuguese opposition in the 2014/15 quarter-finals, losing the first leg at Porto 3-1 but winning the Munich return 6-1.
  • Bayern's home record against visitors from Portugal is W9 D2 L0. They have won their nine previous two-legged ties against Portuguese teams.
  • Benfica's 40 games against German clubs have ended W12 D13 L15 (W10 D7 L2 in Lisbon – W2 D6 L13 in Germany). They have won five of their last seven home fixtures against German visitors.

Bayern's incredible comeback v Juve

Expert comment
Logic suggests that Benfica will approach the first leg in Munich cautiously but as we saw from Juventus on Wednesday, there can be reward for going against the grain. Bayern are prone to conceding on the counterattack and a quick, technically strong Benfica will see an opportunity. The onus is on Bayern to get a result to take to Portugal, not least due to the negative experience at this stage in Porto last season – a 3-1 reverse. Philip Röber

Reaction
Xabi Alonso, Bayern midfielder
"We have learned from the experience of last year against Porto – at this stage everyone is difficult [Bayern lost 3-1 before winning the return 6-1]. Of course there are bigger names, but we have to focus on our tie; you can't take anything for granted. We came through a tough tie against Juventus and need to keep going. We have to respect Benfica, but we have plenty of time to analyse them."

Franck Ribéry, Bayern midfielder
I think it's a good draw for us but Benfica have a great team and some fine players. Their stadium is superb and they have fantastic supporters.

David Alaba, Bayern defender
We're looking forward to it although it won't be easy: Benfica won both their round of 16 matches against Zenit and deserved to get through. They're dangerous.

Eduardo Salvio, Benfica midfielder
Together we are capable of achieving anything. We've proved before that we can do what others thought was impossible.

Last updated: 18/03/16 17.34CET

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