Robben confident Bayern can progress to Champions League final

Winger Arjen Robben believes Bayern Munich have plenty of reason for optimism despite suffering a 1-0 defeat at Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final on Wednesday night.

Bayern controlled possession, touching 80 per cent at times, but succumbed to a 19th-minute Karim Benzema strike.

The best chances of the game largely fell to the Spaniards, who showed an almost German-like efficiency against a Barcelona-like Bayern, who kept the ball but lacked a cutting edge.

"All we lacked was a goal," Robben said. "We’ve got to keep positive, though, and we have a lot of confidence for Tuesday (the second leg).

"I’ve got to pay the team a compliment for the way we controlled the game here in the Bernabeu.

"We’ve not been great for the past two weeks, but tonight we were. We really upped our game."

One of the possible reasons for Bayern’s failure to make the breakthrough was an uncharacteristically sub-par performance from Franck Ribery, although Robben jumped to his team-mate’s defence.

"We need him," he told Sky. "You can play a bad game once in a while, but he has played so many good games for us.

"He was good tonight too and played a decent game. We must not start pinning the blame on individual players – we need everybody.


"Next week, we’ll really get at them – with Franck."

The return leg is likely to follow the same trend as Wednesday’s game, with Real building the barricades and breaking out as soon as Bayern over-commit.

"That’s the way Madrid have always played," said Bayern coach Pep Guardiola. "They are fast and they just let you do all the playing, waiting for you to lose the ball.

"Then you can hardly catch them. You’ve got to be well organised, and we were.

"I’m proud of my team. There is no better team around than Real Madrid."