Pep Guardiola: tie is finely balanced. Andres Kudacki
Pep Talk

Real Madrid's 'athletes' too much for Bayern, admits Guardiola

The La Liga heavyweights are in the driving seat ahead of the second leg.

BAYERN MUNICH MANAGER Pep Guardiola said his side had struggled to contain Real Madrid’s pace on the counter-attack as Los Blancos secured a 1-0 advantage from the first leg of their Champions League semi-final on Wednesday.

Karim Benzema scored the only goal of the game on 19 minutes from one of a series of Madrid counter-attacks in the first-half that caught the European champions wanting at the back.

“Madrid have athletes. They are footballers, but they are real athletes,” said the former Barcelona boss after suffering his first defeat in eight games as a coach at the Santiago Bernabeu.

“It is easy to say we need to play more vertically, but the quicker we move the ball forward, the quicker it comes back and that can be very dangerous for us.”

Soccer - UEFA Champions League - Semi Final - First Leg - Real Madrid v Bayern Munich - Santiago Bernabeu Referee Howard Webb with Bayern Munich's Arjen Robben and Bastian Schweinsteiger. EMPICS Sport EMPICS Sport

Bayern enjoyed 63 per cent of the possession, but failed to create many clear-cut opportunities as Madrid defended in numbers.

And Guardiola expects more of the same when his side try to turn the tie around on home soil at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday.

“I think the next game will be exactly the same. We need to control their counter-attacks, but it is a question of finding the right balance.

“Madrid are a complete team and it is true that not scoring away from home makes the tie very difficult.

“However, we will be at home, with our fans behind us, and we will give everything to reach the final.”

- © AFP, 2014

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