"I am pleased with everything - with the result and with the effort made by the players, because it was a difficult game," said Ancelotti

Real Madrid beat defending champions Bayern Munich 1-0 on Wednesday in the first leg of the Champions League semi-finals on an early goal from Karim Benzema.

Bayern enjoyed 72 per cent possession of the ball but distinctly lacked a cutting edge. In contrast, Real were content to soak up the pressure and play on the break - and could have won by a greater margin.

"I am pleased with everything - with the result and with the effort made by the players, because it was a difficult game," said Real coach Carlo Ancelotti who has never lost against Bayern.

"We made a rather timid start to the game but we were more in control in the second half. Our counter-attacks were very dangerous tonight.

"The second leg will be very difficult. We will need to show the same desire and confidence over there."

Meanwhile, Real defender Sergio Ramos said, "It was a very hard game. They had possession but we worked hard in defence.

"The 1-0 result is satisfactory; it is a good result to take with us to Munich."

Bayern - bidding to become the first team to successfully defend the title since AC Milan in 1990 - started brightly, pinning Real back well into their own half, but failed to create any clear chances.

The only goal came in the 19th minute when Cristiano Ronaldo - back after two weeks out with a hamstring strain - released fellow Portuguese Fabio Coentrao down the left and the latter centred for the unmarked Benzema to score from close range at the far post.

Ronaldo then missed two good chances to increase Real's lead, with the Bayern defence looking shaky - and with the packed Estadio Bernabeu enjoying the battle.

Real's Welsh winger Gareth Bale finally came off the bench after being laid low with flu for three days, but looked short on energy.

Real lost defender Pepe to an injury but still managed to keep Bayern at bay, with wingers Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben failing to make their usual impact.

Bayern's only clear chance of the match fell to substitute Mario Goetze six minutes from time, but the former Borussia Dortmund playmaker saw his timid shot well saved by Spain keeper Iker Casillas.

It was the first defeat in the Bernabeu for Bayern coach Pep Guardiola, who won five times there while in charge of Barcelona.

"Congratulations to Real. They are the best team in the world at counter-attacking," said Guardiola.

"We wanted to dominate the match with possession. All we were missing was a goal. But there is still one game left to play."

The second leg will be played in Munich on April 29.

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