A Franck Ribery-inspired Bayern Munich came from behind to beat Sevilla in the first leg of their Champions League quarter final tie.
Sevilla started the game the brighter of the two sides and they led when in-form midfielder Pablo Sarabia scored to send the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan into full voice.
Sarabia has been Sevilla’s most impressive player since the turn of the year and had he converted his earlier chance from close range – the scoreline could of been all too different.
However, Jesus Navas’ own goal from Ribery’s low cross and Thiago Alcantara’s deflected header from the France international’s delivery after the break ensured a 2-1 advantage.
Bayern midfielder Javi Martinez made a superb challenge to prevent Franco Vazquez sweeping the ball past Sven Ulreich as Sevilla kept fighting until the final whistle.
Bayern extended their winning run to seven consecutive games with the victory, but they did lose midfielder Arturo Vidal, through injury.
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.
Sevilla will return to league action this weekend, before next week’s second leg in Germany, after Bayern could seal the German title this coming weekend if they beat Augsburg.
Speaking after the game, Montella told reporters: “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.”
The Andalusian side now face a tall order in Munich on 11th April.