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Rubbing it in:Striker Ivica Olic (right) celebrates with Thomas Mueller after scoring one of his three goals.
LYON: Ivica Olic netted a hat-trick as Bayern Munich defeated Lyon 3-0 here on Tuesday to qualify for the Champions League final for the first time since it last won the competition in 2001.
The Croatia striker extended Bayern's 1-0 lead from last week's semifinal 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.
Lyon was bidding to reach its first ever European final but saw Michel Bastos and Bafetimbi Gomis spurn the best chances that came their way.
The host had captain Cris sent off midway through the second half after being shown two yellow cards in quick succession.
Bayern, four-time champion, will meet the winner of other semifinal between Barcelona and Inter Milan in the final in Madrid on May 22.
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.
After seeing his side outplayed in Munich, 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.
Bayern's injury problems meant Holger Badstuber had to move into the centre of defence, with 19-year-old Diego Contento taking his place at left-back, but it was the home defence that found itself under pressure first.
With barely two minutes on the clock, Olic robbed Cris wide on the right and centred for Thomas Mueller, but with only Hugo Lloris to beat he clipped his first-time shot narrowly wide from 10 yards.
Mueller then flashed a cross across goal before Bayern scored the night's first psychological blow when Mark van Bommel drew a foul from Maxime Gonalons that earned the youngster a booking and a suspension for the final.
The goal 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' drums replaced the roar of the home support and it grew even louder when Bastos spurned a superb chance for an equaliser by volleying wide from six yards.
Puel introduced Gomis at half-time and the former Saint Etienne striker 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.
Bastian Schweinsteiger flashed an eye-catching half-volley narrowly over as Bayern looked to kill the game off, before Lloris produced a fine save to push away Robben's low curling effort.
From bad to worse
Lyon's evening went from bad to worse shortly before the hour when Cris received his marching orders, picking up two yellow cards in the space of a minute for fouling Olic and then sarcastically applauding the referee's decision to book him.
The host responded with a stinging shot from Govou that Hans-Joerg Butt palmed away before Olic killed off any lingering 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.
Coach Gaal saluted a masterful team effort after his side's convincing victory.
A hat-trick from Ivica Olic secured a 4-0 aggregate win, which was the biggest winning margin in a Champions League semifinal since Juventus beat van Gaal's Ajax 6-2 in the 1996-97 competition. Despite Olic's headline-grabbing performance, his coach insisted the credit for the victory deserved to be shared among all his players.
“Olic scored three goals, but he also pressed them very high and his positioning and organisation were great,” said van Gaal.
“He scored three goals, but only because he was the nearest player to the goal.
The margin of Bayern's victory reflected its superiority over both legs and van Gaal was satisfied by his side's management of the tie.
“We played a great match,” said the Dutchman, who will now seek to become only the third coach after Ernst Happel and Ottmar Hitzfeld to lead two different sides to European Cup glory.
With his side 1-0 down after the first leg, Lyon coach Claude Puel sent his men out in an attacking 4-2-3-1 that restored wingers Michel Bastos and Sidney Govou to the line-up in support of lone striker Lisandro Lopez.
They carved out few clear chances, though, with Bastos and Bafetimbi Gomis spurning the best of them by volleying off-target.
Change of approach
Van Gaal said he had anticipated Lyon's change of approach.
“I expected Lyon would play in another way,” he said.
“I read the papers. They didn't play very well in Munich (in the first leg), so it's natural that a coach will change his team.
“I expected that they would play with a number 10 (Cesar Delgado). My players were informed. We saw that our pressing in Munich was too much for them and we have also seen that today.
Bayern will contest the final with either Barcelona or Inter Milan, which leads 3-1 ahead of the resumption of the semifinal in Barcelona on Wednesday.
“Nine times out of 10, Barcelona would beat us, but we would still have our chances,” said van Gaal. “We would prefer to play Inter. It would be good to do a press conference with my friend Jose Mourinho.
Puel conceded that his side had fallen to a stronger team.
“You simply have to congratulate their team, which was fantastic in lots of areas,” he said.
“Their physicality, the quality of their play, their control of possession. They are a complete team. They are physically strong and never let their rhythm drop. It became very, very difficult for us.
“We had to produce a perfect match and it wasn't the case. We have to admit that tonight, Bayern were better.
Puel had urged his side to take the game to Bayern ahead of the match and he was left to lament the poor finishing that saw the French side spurn the few opportunities that came their way.
“We tried to take the game to them, to press them high and recover the ball so that we could put them under pressure,” he said.
Lyon captain booked
Lyon captain Cris was dismissed for sarcastically clapping the referee after he had been booked for a foul shortly before the hour and Puel said Lyon had reason to feel hard done-by, after also seeing Jeremy Toulalan sent off in the first leg. — AFP
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