Confident Bayern promise home improvements against Real

Thu Apr 24, 2014 3:18am EDT
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By Karolos Grohmann

(Reuters) - Holders Bayern Munich promised a sharp improvement when they host Real Madrid in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final after failing to convert the lion's share of possession into goals in a 1-0 defeat in Spain on Wednesday.

Bayern enjoyed 80 percent possession in the first half but it was the nine-times European champions who scored when Karim Benzema completed a quick break in the 14th minute for the winner.

The Bavarians, hoping to become the first team to successfully defend the Champions League title, struggled to break down the solid Real defense.

When they did find a way through they were let down by sloppy finishing.

"What we were missing was the finish," said Bayern coach Pep Guardiola, who is looking for a treble of titles in his first season in charge.

"The result is certainly not ideal, but we can still improve in the second leg. We will analyze the game and then decide what our best options are for the return leg in order to successfully overcome this task.

"I am very optimistic. Even more than before this game," he added.

The sensational season Bayern have enjoyed so far suggests they are capable of turning the tie around at the Allianz Arena, where they will be backed by a vocal 60,000 crowd.   Continued...

Bayern Munich's coach Josep Guardiola reacts during the Champions League semi-final first leg soccer match against Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid April 23, 2014. REUTERS/Michael Dalder