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Olympique Lyonnais 0-3 Bayern Munich: Initial reactions and observations

Bayern scored three unanswered goals to advance past Lyon to the Champions League final.

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Olympique Lyonnais v Bayern Munich - UEFA Champions League Semi Final Photo by M. Donato/FC Bayern via Getty Images

Initial reactions and observations

  • Lyon came at Bayern hard in the first half out of the match, and they nearly scored the opener they so desperately needed. Bayern’s defending left a lot to be desired in this early phase of the match. Thiago, Davies, Boateng, and Alaba all took turns losing their man. Fortunately, Manuel Neuer delivered an outstanding performance.
  • Ghost Gnabry! Serge was no where until he suddenly was everywhere, dribbling through two rows of three defenders to take a left-footed shot past Lopes, giving Bayern the lead out of nowhere.
  • Lewandowski finally got his goal late in the game, but it was a forgettable performance for the striker. Lyon did a good job of marking him out of the game and forcing him to retreat into the central midfield to get the ball.
  • Coutinho is certainly doing himself a favor with his performances off the bench. He would have (should have) scored yet again tonight, had Goretzka not grazed a ball in midflight, making a well-timed run offside.

Full Time! Davies intercepts a last attack, and the referee blows the final whistle. Bayern is through to the final!

90+2’ — Coman fires a cross inside for Tolisso, but the Frenchman can’t keep the ball down. It flies high out of bounds.

90’ — Bayern wins an almost identical free kick. Kimmich sends this one to Müller at the near post, but Müller heads it well wide of goal.

88’ — GOAL BAYERN! 3-0! Kimmich takes a free kick far up the right flank outside the box. The Bayern players are scattered around the penalty area. Kimmich lobs the ball into the penalty area toward the far post, where Lewandowski flies over two defenders and heads it into the goal past Lopse.

87’ — Dembélé heads Alaba’s free kick away.

86’ — Mendes gets a yellow card for a high kick on Kimmich’s back.

84’ — Aouar takes a harmless shot at Neuer.

82’ — Pavard and Tolisso come on for Thiago and Goretzka.

81’ — Goretzka again shoots the ball right into a teammate. This time, Müller takes the blow.

80’ — Coutinho scores, but the goal is ruled offside. He was originally onside when the ball was first played, but because Goretzka grazed it on its way in, Coutinho was offside.

Benji Pavard and Corentin Tolisso are up.

78’ — Coutinho takes a long-range shot wide of goal.

76’ — Coutinho on for Gnabry.

75’ — Aouar plays yet another dangerous pass in the box, but Chaqueret cannot hit the ball cleanly.

72’ — Bayern defuses a flurry of half chances for Lyon. Cherki comes on to replace Marcal.

67’ — Reine Adelaide replaces Toko Ekambi and Tete replaces Dubois for Lyon.

66’ — Alaba concedes a corner while putting an end to a slaloming, dangerous-looking run by Aouar.

63’ — Kingsley Coman comes on for Ivan Perisic. Great outing by Perisic. Now Coman can run at tired legs.

59’ — Neuer makes an incredible save! Süle mistimes a tackle and hits the pitch as Aouar blows by him. He passes to Toko Ekambi, who is open. Neuer charges and blocks the shot with his body and springs to his feet to claim the rebound.

58’ — Rudi Garcia replaces Memphis Depay with Moussa Dembélé.

55’ — Süle throws himself in front of a cross for Depay. Depay asks for a handball call, but none is given. The ensuing corner kick results in a header on target, but Neuer catches the shot.

51’ — Davies wins this leg race with Toko Ekambi, defusing a would-be break. On the rebound, Perisic takes a shot at Lopes.

Kickoff! Both teams make a change: Niklas Süle comes on for Jerome Boateng, and Thiago Mendes comes on for Bruno Guimaraes.

Halftime observations

  • If luck had gone their way, Lyon could have scored twice before Gnabry turned the match on its head. Bayern seemed unprepared to deal with Memphis Depay and Toko Ekambi’s fast breaks. Alphonso Davies in particular did a poor job patrolling his side of the defense.
  • Robert Lewandowski and Leon Goretzka are having one of those days when nothing will go in. Goretzka flubbed what could easily have been Bayern’s opening goal, and Lewy has missed two sitters. Fortunately, Serge Gnabry is having one of those other days when everything goes in!
  • Has Thiago been good or bad? The ratings sites rate him the highest after Gnabry, but I’m not so sure. He gave the ball away on Depay’s early fast break, and he and Goretzka just do not seem to gel very well. Flick may have to think long and hard about benching Thiago to allow Benjamin Pavard back in the lineup at right-back, so Kimmich can boss the midfield.


43’ — Oops: now Goretzka drives up the middle of the pitch and shoots — right into Lewandowski’s back.

42’ — Lewandowski goes down after crashing full into Marcal, who sees the yellow card.

41’ — Bayern has a bit of a scare: a long ball to Toko Ekambi seems to have caught Bayern’s defense off guard, and Manuel Neuer comes running clear out of the box to stand down two attackers. Fortunately for him, offside is called.

38’ — Gnabry fires a cross toward the far post on the left, but Lewandowski just misses it.

35’ — Marcelo sees the yellow card for a foul on Lewandowski.

32’ — GOAL BAYERN! 2-0! Serge Gnabry launches another attack, finds Perisic open on the left. Perisic crosses inside, but Lewandowski stumbles as he tries to hit the ball past Lopes as they fall to the ground. The ball rolls away from the line, just as Gnabry arrives to bury it in the net.

30’ — Lopes manages to deny Lewandowski a shot after a fast interchange with Müller.

25’ — Gnabry takes a hard shot from outside on the right flank. Anthony Lopes deflects it wide.

18’ — GOAL BAYERN! Out of nowhere Serge Gnabry picks up a pass from Kimmich on the right flank, dribbles inside through six defenders and scores with a brilliant left-fotted shot almost from the edge of the penalty box.

17’ — A frightening moment: Lyon launches yet another breakaway attack. This time, it becomes a sprinting match between Ekambi and Davies. Davies initially stops him, but he manages to regain the ball and fire, hitting the woodwork.

13’ — Lyon comes at Bayern again. Cornet evades a tackle by Goretzka and gets into the penalty area, but Jerome Boateng dives to clear his cross before it finds Depay.

11’ — Bayern launch another attack and the ball comes to Leon Goretzka who arrives unmarked into the box. Goretzka mishits the ball though, sending it just outside the left post instead of into the open goal.

Lyon counters soon after, and a cross from Depay just misses Leo Dubois at the far post.

9’ — Bayern concedese a corner kick as David Alaba intercepts a cross intended for Toko Ekambi. Neuer punches away the ensuing corner. It’s another dangerous moment for Bayern.

4’ — Yikes! Thiago pulls off a nice move to eludes Lyon’s press, but plays his pass directly to a Lyon player. Lyon pounces on the counter, and Memphis Depay finds himself one on one with Manuel Neuer. Neuer comes out of the box almost to the edge of the penalty area and manages to foce Depay to shot just to the right of the goal.

Kickoff! The ball is rolling! Bayern start in possession.

One hour until kickoff: We have lineups! Hansi Flick has opted for the same XI that started against Barcelona!

Ah, the Champions League. A cruel and harsh mistress, it is the jewel of club football competitions. Bayern Munich last won it in 2013, when Jupp Heynckes’ side completed the illustrious treble. Now, seven years later, Hansi Flick has the chance to repeat that glorious achievement — unless Lyon have something to say about it.

Olympique Lyonnais are the biggest surprise of this UCL season. Having beaten a hapless Juventus side in the Round of 16, the Rudi Garcia coached side stunned the footballing world by toppling the juggernaut that is Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in the quarterfinals. They’ve now eliminated two of the big favorites for the trophy, and have Bayern Munich firmly in their sights.

Lyon’s prize winning asset is their midfield. The trio of Bruno Guimares, Houssem Aouar, and Maxence Caqueret made short work of City, and Hansi Flick will need Thomas Muller, Thiago Alcantara, and Leon Goretzka in top form to make sure the midfield battle isn’t lost. Meanwhile, Robert Lewandowski needs to prove that he’s worth his salt in the UCL knockouts by keeping his scoring run going for a couple more games.

Everything’s on the line here. No matter who the opponents are, Bayern Munich cannot afford to lose. Will the players rise to the occasion?

It’s Bayern time.

Match Info

Location: Estádio José Alvalade, Lisbon, Portugal

Time: 8:00 pm local time, 3:00 pm EST

TV/streaming:, Find Your Country

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