MUNICH, April 26: Real Madrid moved a step closer to a third straight Champions League title after substitute Marco Asensio hit the winner in a 2-1 semifinal, first-leg victory at Bayern Munich.
The 22-year-old came off the bench to finish a counter-attack and complete the holders� comeback win, giving Real the advantage for the return game in Madrid next Tuesday.
�We knew what to expect, we did well and put in a good performance,� said Real captain Sergio Ramos.
�There is still the return to come, but we�ll be very focused and we defended well, that was the main thing.�
Bayern took the lead at the sold-out Allianz Arena through Joshua Kimmich, but Marcelo equalised just before the break and Asensio put Real ahead.
�In the middle of the first half, we were playing well, but we lacked the killer instinct,� said Bayern skipper Thomas Mueller.
�Everything is still possible, but we did ourselves no favours today.�
Despite Bayern dominating possession and creating twice as many chances as Real, Madrid claimed a sixth straight win, dating back to 2012, over the Bavarians in the Champions League knockout stage.
�We didn�t put our chances away, while Real took their two chances,� said Kimmich.
�We were naive in front of goal, they are favourites now to go through, but we will give it our all in the return.�
Real coach Zinedine Zidane pulled a surprise before kick-off by leaving both Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema out of the starting line-up.
Isco, who was replaced by Asensio at half-time, and Lucas Vazquez played either side of Cristiano Ronaldo, who had a subdued night up front in Munich.
The Portuguese failed to add to his tally of 15 Champions League goals this season, being denied a second-half strike by an offside flag, which would have made it 3-1.
James Rodriguez, who is on a two-year loan deal from Real, shone in Bayern�s midfield and found plenty of cracks in the Madrid defence.
However, this just was not Bayern�s night.
Both Mueller and Robert Lewandowski went agonisingly close with a string of chances.
The hosts suffered a blow with barely five minutes gone when Arjen Robben limped off to be replaced by Thiago Alcantara. � AFP