LYON, FRANCE: Ivica Olic netted a hat-trick as Bayern Munich defeated Lyon 3-0 on Tuesday to qualify for the Champions League final for the first time since they last won the competition in 2001.
The Croatian striker extended Bayern’s 1-0 lead from last week’s semi-final first leg in Munich in the first half and put the tie beyond Lyon’s reach with a pair of strikes in the second period. A jubilant Olic said, “It’s incredible to win by this scoreline and to have scored three goals. We have to repeat this now in the final itself.” Coach Louis van Gaal will be aiming to become just the third man to guide two different teams to Europe’s top club honour, having tasted Champions League glory with Ajax in 1995.
French see red Lyon were bidding to reach their first European final but saw Michel Bastos and Bafetimbi Gomis spurn the best chances that came their way. The hosts had captain Cris sent off midway through the second half after being shown two yellow cards in quick succession. Bayern were missing winger Franck Ribery after his dismissal in the first leg but they were barely troubled by a Lyon team that once again failed to muster a sustained attacking threat. All conquering Olic Lyon coach Claude Puel made his attacking intentions clear by naming wingers Bastos, Sidney Govou and Cesar Delgado in his line-up in support of Lisandro Lopez. But the very goal that the Lyon fans dreaded arrived in the 26th minute when Robben’s pass down the inside-left channel found Mueller, who teed up Olic to spin away from his marker and score.
The noise of the Bayern fans’ replaced the roar of the home support when Bastos spurned a superb chance for an equaliser by volleying wide from six yards. Puel introduced Gomis at half-time who sent a thumping volley high over the Bayern crossbar when a left-wing cross fell to him at the back post shortly after his introduction. Lyon’s evening went from bad to worse shortly before the hour when Cris received his marching orders, picking up two yellow cards for fouling Olic and then sarcastically applauding the referee’s decision to book him.
The hosts responded with a shot from Govou that Hans- Joerg Butt palmed away before Olic ended any hopes of a comeback by scampering onto Hamit Altintop’s pass and beating Lloris with a crisp finish. Olic secured possession of the ball in the 77th minute when he nodded home Philipp Lahm’s cross from the right. The final will be played on May 22 in Madrid.