BERLIN, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Bayern Munich still believe they can knock Real Madrid out of the Champions League but they know they should have come away from the Bernabeu with a far better result than a 3-2 defeat.
'We realised too late that Real were there for the taking,' captain and goalkeeper Oliver Kahn told reporters after Tuesday's game in Madrid. 'We showed too much respect at first and didn't play the way we set out to play.'
Bayern seemed intent on self-destruction in the first half as a series of mistakes let Real take a 3-1 lead with two goals from captain Raul and one from Ruud van Nistelrooy in the first leg of their first knock-out round tie.
They improved a little in the second half but only really had the Spaniards worried during 15 minutes of sustained attack at the end.
That brought them a goal from Mark van Bommel that could prove highly significant with the second leg to come on March 7.
'We need to set the Allianz Arena ablaze for the second game,' Kahn said. 'Our second goal could be vital.'
Bayern are on a dreadful run of form in Germany and their lack of confidence was obvious in the first half in Madrid, as coach Ottmar Hitzfeld recognised.
'I had to tell the players at halftime there was no reason for their heads to go down,' said Hitzfeld. 'We just needed to be braver, to get our tackles in earlier and get on the attack.
'Real are not some super-team and you could see that in the second half.'
Real goalkeeper Iker Casillas felt the late Bayern goal would keep his side on their toes in the second leg.
'Although we are annoyed to concede that late goal it is better to go to Munich thinking you have to win and not to fall into the trap of going out too relaxed,' he told reporters.
One of Real's key performers was midfielder David Beckham who was involved in the build-up for the opener and provided the corner and the free kick for the other goals.
Real coach Fabio Capello has only recently brought the Englishman back into the side after dropping him over his decision to join LA Galaxy at the end of the season.
'He played very, very well - and has done since he came back into the team. He created two tonight and scored in San Sebastian. That is a fact, and one I recognise,' said Capello.
The best result Real have achieved in Munich in their last eight visits is a 1-1 draw in Feb. 2004 when they went on to knock Bayern out at the same stage of the competition.
The other seven matches all ended in defeat.
Real's young full back Miguel Torres has been given a hint of what to expect: 'If I play, my colleagues have told me that it will be like hell,' he said.