A Franck Ribery-inspired Bayern Munich came from behind to take control of their Champions League quarter-final with Sevilla.
A Jesus Navas own goal, from Ribery’s low cross, and Thiago Alcantara’s deflected header from the France international’s delivery after the break extended the visitors’ winning run in Europe this season to seven consecutive games.
Sevilla made the brighter start and led when midfielder Pablo Sarabia scored after earlier missing a golden opportunity from eight yards at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
Bayern lost midfielder Arturo Vidal to injury and replaced Juan Bernat with James Rodriguez after the break, when they showed their experience against a Sevilla side who are in the last eight for the first time.
Jupp Heynckes, who returned in October for a third spell in charge of five-time European champions Bayern, has now won his past 12 Champions League games.
His side will retain their Bundesliga title if they win at Augsburg on Saturday, four days before the return leg of this tie at the Allianz Arena.
Unlucky Sevilla hope for another away upset
Vincenzo Montella’s Sevilla have been one of the surprise packages of this season’s competition, drawing with Liverpool at Anfield and knocking out Manchester United in the last 16.
They were certainly not overawed against another Champions League heavyweight side, and their high pressing contributed to an indifferent start by Bayern.
Had Sarabia scored that clear chance, Sevilla may have gone in ahead at half-time.
They had a touch of good luck when referee Daniele Orsato missed a handball from midfielder Sarabia as he made up for that glaring miss with his 32nd-minute opener.
But fortune abandoned them thereafter as Navas’ outstretched boot diverted Ribery’s cross under the dive of goalkeeper David Soria.
As Bayern upped the ante, with Ribery increasingly influential and substitute Rodriguez adding fresh dynamism to the visitors, another deflection put Montella’s men behind.
But Bayern midfielder Javi Martinez still had to make a superb challenge to prevent Franco Vazquez sweeping the ball past Sven Ulreich as Sevilla kept fighting.
The Spaniards face a tall order in Munich on 11 April. Bayern have failed to progress from only one of their 16 previous European Cup or Champions League knockout ties when they won the first leg away.
But Sevilla, who were applauded off by their fans, will hope to draw on those displays in Manchester and Liverpool to upset the odds again at the Allianz.
Man of the match – Javi Martinez (Bayern)
‘It wasn’t 90 good minutes for us’ – what they said
Bayern Munich defender Mats Hummels on BT Sport: “The result would have got our signature if you gave it to us before the game.
“We’re happy with the result but it wasn’t 90 minutes good for us. There was half an hour in the first half when Sevilla were clearly the better team.
“We watched many of Sevilla’s games and the coach told us how good they are.
“It didn’t come as a surprise but we didn’t want them to be as dominant for the first half. We will analyse and talk about that and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Sevilla coach Vincenzo Montella: “We didn’t have any luck. I’m grateful to my players for playing an excellent game against a really high-level opponent. The team deserved more.
“We had a perfect tactical shape in the first half. The first goal on the counter was a shame.
“The second half was more level but we didn’t have the energy to play on the counter-attack.
“We had some shots in the last few minutes and I liked that a lot, but the two goals were a shame.
“I’m happy with the team. They finished with little physical energy but a lot important mental strength. That strength is what we’ve got to take to Munich.”