After a fast start to the game, both the Champions League semifinalists Bayern Munich and Olympique Lyonnais looked to be equally equipped to hurt their opposition. Although Lyon had early chances after easily finding their way past the high Bayern back line, they failed to capitalise on their opportunities. Bayern shifted into a new gear of brilliance and quality that saw this game out to an intense but comfortable 3-0 victory for Bayern. As Bayern proceed to the Champions League final to clash against Neymar and co., Lyon’s dream run in the tournament comes to a close. Here are the match awards:
Jersey Swap: Anthony Lopes
Although he conceded three goals, the Lyon goalkeeper had a good game. Lyon’s excellent start to the game combined with the composure of the Portuguese shot-stopper could have spelled an upset for the Bavarians, especially considering the Bayern number 9 had an off day of sorts. It took a moment of absolute brilliance from Bayern winger Serge Gnabry to open the scoring. Making a total of 5 saves in the game, Lopes nearly denied the second goal — a poor Robert Lewandowski finish which was later gobbled up by Gnabry. Lopes kept his cool later again in the game when going 1v1 against Ivan Perisic, saving and holding on to the ball shot straight but powerfully at him. In the end, the 29-year-old didn’t disappoint, despite his club reaching the end of its absolutely unreal Champions League run, knocking out giants Juventus and Manchester City along the way.
Tip of the Cap: Manuel Neuer
Making three important saves, club captain Manuel Neuer came up big when his team needed him. Memphis Depay and Karl Toko Ekambi missed three big chances to score and regain momentum for Lyon. Although poor finishing was largely the reason, the sweeper-keeper had his angles covered and made life difficult for the Lyon forwards. Maintaining his composure in 1v1 situations, Neuer won the mental battles with each save and robbed the opposition strikers of their confidence for future chances.
Bonus mention: Neuer nearly had an assist after his (super) long throw to Philippe Coutinho almost turned into another goal for Bayern. Nonetheless a key pass to his books!
Golf Clap: David Alaba
Like his central defensive counterpart, David Alaba had an absolutely solid game apart from the few early lapses in concentration which the “Les Gones” failed to capitalise on and punish Bayern. Completing 94 percent of his passes, the Austrian was his usual self getting involved in Bayern’s build-up play. Once the back line dropped deeper as the game progressed, Alaba really came into his own, winning 3 out his 4 duels, making 2 interceptions and completing 4 recoveries. Although Lyonnais were unlucky to score at least 2 goals, Alaba and his men at the back made sure to snuff out any more chances in the box.
Standing Ovation: Joshua Kimmich
Joshua Kimmich had an eventful and industrious day at right-back to say the least. Involved in both the offense and the defense, the young German stamped his influence on the game despite playing out of his preferred position at central midfield. Completing 86 percent of his passes, Kimmich had a game high 4 (!) key passes. On the defensive side, he won 7 out of his 12 duels — succeeding in 2 of his 3 tackles attempted, making 6 ball recoveries and an interception along the way. He wrapped it all up with 2 assists, one involving a peach of a delivery from the corner which was powered in by a Lewy header.
Meister of the Match: Serge Gnabry
Serge Gnabry just comes alive in big CL games! With Bayern’s prime goal-scorer Lewandowski having an uncharacteristic off day, the team needed brilliance from other parts of the pitch to open the scoring against a good Lyon press. Serge Gnabry produced that moment of absolute brilliance, running in from the right and dribbling through 5 of Lyonnais’ men before slotting the ball in Arjen Robben-esque fashion. Serge followed up that wonder goal with another in the 33rd minute. His second goal came as result of his sheer poaching instincts, as he had the awareness to spot Lewy’s poor finish and the cool to tuck it away neatly to put Bayern 2-0 up, after which Bayern were fairly in cruise control for the rest of the game.