Sport Soccer

Tuesday 25 July 2017

Stunning Olic hat-trick proves end of the Lyon

Lyon 0
Bayern munich 3
(Bayern Munich win 4-0 on agg)

Ivica Olic scored a hat-trick against Lyon. Photo: Getty Images
Ivica Olic scored a hat-trick against Lyon. Photo: Getty Images

Mark Ogden in Lyon

TYPICAL Germans?

Alex Ferguson's sour retort following Bayern Munich's Champions League elimination of Manchester United this month might not have been delivered as a compliment, and having been guided to the Champions League final by an inspirational Dutchman and a hat-trick scoring Croatian, Bayern will spend little time dissecting the insults of a Scotsman when they face Inter Milan or Barcelona in Madrid on May 22.

Ivica Olic's stunning hat-trick, combined with Louis Van Gaal's masterful coaching, earned a deserved victory for the Germans against a Lyon team reduced to 10 men following the second-half dismissal of their captain, Cris.

Former Ajax coach Van Gaal now has the chance to join Ernst Happel and Ottmar Hitzfeld as the only managers to win European Cups with two clubs. Regardless of their shortcomings -- a lack of adventure, paucity of attacking talent and shortage of box-office performers -- Claude Puel's team ended Liverpool's hopes in the group stages before eliminating Real Madrid in the last 16.

But Lyon bore all the hallmarks of an FA Cup giant-killer who sensed their adventure was about to come to an end against a team more accustomed to regular success at this rarefied level. Aiming to become only the fifth French club to reach the European Cup final, Lyon appeared to be struck by stage fright early on.

Bayern displayed the ruthless streak of all great German teams, and with the impressive Philipp Lahm driving them on, they deservedly took the lead through Olic after 26 minutes.

Lyon's failure to cut out Thomas Muller's pass back to Olic left the forward free to beat goalkeeper Hugo Lloris from the 11 yards. Two goals ahead on aggregate, Bayern knew that Lyon now needed three to progress.

And the reality that that was not going to happen was hammered home for Lyon five minutes later when Michel Bastos skewed an easy volley wide from six yards. Bayern were hardly missing their French winger Franck Ribery, suspended as a result of his red card in the first leg.

Van Gaal's team were more organised and clearly infused with belief. With Lyon wasting all of their chances, Bayern were well aware that they merely had to play the game out to secure a place in the final.

But they went for a second goal and Bastian Schweinsteiger sent a half-volley over from 25 yards before Lloris saved well to keep out Arjen Robben's curling effort.

Any faint hope that Lyon carried of overturning Bayern's lead evaporated after 60 minutes when Cris was sent off for two yellow cards in a minute.

His first, for a foul on Olic, was harsh, but his second, for sarcastically applauding the decision of referee Massimo Busacca, was idiotic.

Bayern ruthlessly took advantage and they confirmed their first Champions League final for nine years when Olic scored his second with a clinical left-foot strike.

Olic completed his hat-trick with a 78th-minute header from Lahm's cross. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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