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Real take 1-0 lead into second leg

(AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

MADRID (AP) Karim Benzema's goal gave Real Madrid a 1-0 first-leg victory over title holder Bayern Munich on Wednesday, but the nine-time champions may live to regret the missed chances in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal.

Madrid endured plenty of pressure in the first leg match, but scored from a 19th-minute counter-attack. Cristiano Ronaldo found Fabio Coentrao speeding down the left flank and Benzema steered his low cross past goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

Ronaldo returned from a left leg injury but missed a number of scoring opportunities before eventually giving way to Gareth Bale, who had started on the bench after battling with `flu.

Platini: no bans for FFP rule breakers

PARIS (AP) Clubs won't be excluded from next season's Champions League for breaking "Financial Fair Play" rules, according to UEFA President Michel Platini

"There will be some tough things ... but if you're expecting blood and tears, you'll be disappointed," Platini told French daily Le Parisien in an interview published Thursday. (MORE)

Ecclestone goes on trial in Germany

MUNICH (AP) Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone rejected accusations of bribery as he went on trial Thursday in a case that could threaten his grip on the sport, telling a Munich court that he was blackmailed by a German banker who received a disputed $44 million payment.

Ecclestone said at the beginning of a four-hour personal statement read out in German by his lawyers that he was "grateful" to be able to give his side of the story - though he told judges that he would answer questions from the Munich state court through his lawyers, rather than personally. (MORE)

Wiggins, Froome missing for Sky at Giro

MANCHESTER, England (AP) This year's Giro d'Italia will be missing two of cycling's biggest names after Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome, the last two winners of the Tour de France, were left out of Team Sky's nine-man lineup for the May 9-June 1 race.

Wiggins is competing in the Tour of California in May while Froome is being rested ahead of the defense of his Tour de France title in July. (MORE)

Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarters

STUTTGART, Germany (AP) Defending champion Maria Sharapova defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4, 6-3 on Thursday to set up a Porsche Grand Prix quarterfinal clash with top-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska.

The sixth-seeded Sharapova needed little over an hour-and-a-half to defeat her fellow Russian, keeping alive her bid to win the tournament for the third year-in-a-row. (MORE)

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