Arturo Vidal and Philipp Lahm lead Bayern into Champions League semis
Same procedure as every year. Bayern Munich sailed into the Champions League semifinals for a fifth season in succession with a battling 2-2 draw against Benfica.
Goals in each half by Arturo Vidal and Thomas Muller put Bayern firmly in control after Raul Jimenez had the temerity to put the hosts ahead in Lisbon. Anderson Talisca curled in a cracking free kick equaliser but Bayern survived a late barrage to progress 3-2 on aggregate.
Here are the ratings as Pep Guardiola's side moved an important step closer to a treble in his final season in charge.
Player ratings (1-10; 10=best; players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating):
GK Manuel Neuer, 6 -- Badly caught in no-man's land for the hosts' opening goal, which had remarkable similarities to Arsenal's first goal in the group stage defeat. He redeemed himself for his earlier faux pas with a couple of routine stops and ensured his side didn't lose on the night with a fine save in the dying seconds.
DF David Alaba, 7 -- Alaba slotted into left-back, looking far more comfortable in that position, rather than filling the central defensive holes of recent weeks. He too has to take his part of the blame for Jimenez's jolt to the Bayern system, but the versatile Austrian made up for this with numerous impressive attacking forays.
DF Javi Martinez, 6 -- Bayern's record €40 million signing isn't up to full speed yet after a lengthy injury absence and was at fault too alongside Neuer, and even Alaba, for Benfica's opener. Martinez set up Muller's crucial second with a firm back-post header from Xabi Alonso's floated corner. However, with still a quarter of an hour remaining, the Spaniard can consider himself fortunate to escape a red card for a bad lunge on the edge of the box on Benfica substitute Goncalo Guedes.
DF Joshua Kimmich, 6 -- Sporting a black eye from the weekend, Kimmich encountered ample problems dealing with the awkward Jimenez, especially against the high ball. Consolation for Bayern fans, first-choice central defender Jerome Boateng should be in contention for a semifinal starting spot in a fortnight's time.
DF Philipp Lahm, 8 -- On his 100th start, Lahm tried everything to break his Champions League scoring duck. He rampaged forward on the right hand side at every available opportunity, and it was the skipper's pinpoint cross which Vidal rammed home with some velocity for a crucial equaliser. Is it written in the script for Lahm to score his first goal in the final in Milan?
MF Xabi Alonso, 6 -- Guardiola opted for the extra solidity and shape that Alonso provides as a defensive midfielder. That tactic looked questionable when Bayern lost the opening goal but the Basque's experience helped the Catalan coast to his seventh Champions League semifinal as a coach out of seven attempts.
MF Arturo Vidal, 9 -- The Chilean's "Re-Vidal-ization" continues at pace, toiling feverishly at both ends of the field. Vidal settled any Bavarian nerves by firing a superb equaliser on the volley seven minutes before the break and his five shots on goal were three more than any other Bayern player. "The Warrior" is certainly now living up to the hype that surrounded his summer move from Juventus.
MF Thiago, 6 -- The tricky Spaniard often looks a shadow of his Munich self on away soil and, at times, this game passed him by in Lisbon.
MF Franck Ribery, 7 -- The 33-year-old Frenchman buzzed around brightly on the Bayern left in tandem with his old partner Alaba.
MF Douglas Costa, 7 -- Unlike Vidal, Costa has been nowhere near his best since the winter break, but this was one of the Brazilian's livelier outings in 2016. He was a bright spark on the right-hand side, feeding Lahm in the buildup to the equaliser and also saw his left-footed piledriver rattle the post just before the hour mark.
FW Thomas Muller, 7 -- Toiled industriously in Robert Lewandowski's stead, firing narrowly wide in the first half from another delectable Lahm delivery. Muller put Bayern into the lead on the night, poking home from a corner on 52 minutes to end the tie as a contest. He had another chalked off for offside and will stick on 36 Champions League goals until the semis.
FW Robert Lewandowski, NR -- Lewandowski has not been at his clinical best in recent weeks, yet it was still a surprise that he was dropped to the bench following a three-game goalless run. News leaked on social media during the game that the Polish striker had been involved in a minor car crash --perhaps a good enough reason for Pep's precaution to rest his prize striker.
Replacing Muller with six minutes to play, Lewandowski had the chance to make it 3-2 in the final minute, but could produce only an unusually tame effort straight at Ederson.
DF Juan Bernat, NR -- Replaced his compatriot Alonso in the final minute and far too late for a rating.
MF Mario Gotze, NR -- Swapped places with Ribery for the dying seconds.
Mark Lovell covers Bayern Munich for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @LovellLowdown.