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CL: Bayern were great against Real Madrid, insists Arjen Robben

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

Real Madrid's 'keeper Iker Casillas (left) and Bayern Munich's Arjen Robben embrace at the end of the first leg encounter. Pic/AFP
Real Madrid's 'keeper Iker Casillas (left) and Bayern Munich's Arjen Robben embrace at the end of the first leg encounter. Pic/AFP

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."

A possible reason for Bayern's failure was an uncharacteristically sub-par performance from Franck Ribery, although Robben jumped to his teammate'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 (to perform).

"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 Munich over-commit.

76.78%
Real Madrid's success rate in European ties after they have won the first leg at home (they have gone on to the next round 43 times out of the 56 occasions that they have found themselves in this situation)

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