Bayern beats Lyon to reach Champions League final
LYON, France (AP) -- Bayern Munich brushed aside Lyon 3-0 on Tuesday to appear in its first Champions League final in nine years.
Ivica Olic continued his stunning form with a clinical hat trick for five goals in his last four European outings.
Bayern, leading the Bundesliga on goal difference, will go for its fifth European Cup against either Barcelona or Inter Milan in the May 22 final. Barcelona hosts Inter on Wednesday, with Inter leading 3-1.
"We played very well tonight, we were very organized both in defense and in attack and if we carry on playing like this we will be very hard to beat," Bayern coach Louis van Gaal said.
"I am happy and so are the players. (Olic) had a fantastic game, he scored three goals and worked very hard all game. But he was the player closest to goal, so it's normal (he scored)."
Van Gaal would relish playing Pep Guardiola's Barcelona in the final.
"On my first day in charge (of Bayern), I said Barcelona is the best team in the world and the example (to follow). Nine times out of 10, Barca would win, but we could win one game," Van Gaal said. "I would prefer to play Inter, that way I could have a press conference with my friend Jose Mourinho."
Having lost the first leg 1-0, Lyon started nervously and Bayern should already have scored before Thomas Mueller set up Olic in the 26th minute. The Croatia striker pounced again in the 67th and 78th.
"You have to congratulate this team, they were better in several areas," Lyon coach Claude Puel said. "Their physical impact was impressive and their rhythm never dropped off. We had to play a perfect match and that wasn't the case."
Lyon captain Cris was sent off in the second half, leaving the humbled home side to finish with 10 men.
"We tried to play high up the field and pressure their defense, but we hurried things too much when we had possession, we were wasteful with our final ball," Puel said. "The scoreline is a shame, it is a heavy defeat that has much to do with Cris' sending off."
The 30-year-old Olic has been a revelation in this season's competition, scoring in injury time to give Bayern a 2-1 home win against Manchester United in the first leg of the quarterfinals, and then grabbing a crucial goal just before halftime at Old Trafford just as United was cruising into the semifinals at 3-0 up.
Lyon's nerves cracked as it desperately sought a way to get back in the game, and Cris let his teammates down with the way he was sent off.
"Lyon did not play too well in Munich," Van Gaal said. "The way we closed them down in Munich was too much for them, and it was the same again today."
Having been shown a yellow card for a foul on Olic, he sarcastically applauded Swiss referee Massimo Busacca's decision and was then shown another yellow. One player from each side was sent off in the first leg in Munich.
"The sending off ended all our chances, and it became very hard against a team which controls the game so well," Puel said. "A great adventure has come to an end tonight, but we want more of this."
Bayern defender Daniel Van Buyten said Van Gaal briefed his team perfectly about how Lyon plays.
"We knew what to expect, we were prepared for this game," Van Buyten said. "We're happy to have scored so early to give ourselves a cushion."
Olic punished the French team with another superb finish, perfectly reading Hamit Altintop's reverse pass and stroking the ball over the body of France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
Van Gaal took off Arjen Robben with 15 minutes to go, but let the razor-sharp Olic stay on and try for a hat trick. It did not take long, as rightback Philipp Lahm crossed from the right and he headed past Lloris, who got a hand to it and should have done better.
Lyon was appearing in its first ever Champions League semifinal and was looking to become the first French club to reach the final since Monaco lost to Mourinho's Porto in 2004.
Van Gaal has a chance to win the competition as the coach of two different clubs, having guided Ajax to victory in 1995. He lost the final, again with Ajax, to Juventus the following year in a penalty shootout.
Puel's team played too cautiously early on and let Bayern dictate the pace, with Lyon striker Lisandro Lopez isolated in attack and receiving little support.
Olic almost created an early goal for Mueller after just two minutes, chasing a long ball down the right and forcing Cris into a mistake as the defender casually tried to shield the ball. Olic stole it off him and crossed perfectly to give Mueller an easy scoring chance, but the 20-year-old striker missed from six yards (meters).
Puel remonstrated angrily with Robben from the sidelines after he tumbled theatrically to the ground midway through the first half, and complained to a touchline official that goalkeeper Joerg Butt was time-wasting on his goal kicks.
Mueller made up for his miss in the 26th, latching onto Robben's pass, cutting inside the left and then turning his marker to find Olic with a perfect pass into the striker's feet, and he finished confidently.
Lyon should have made it 1-1 in the 31st but winger Michel Bastos somehow missed from 5 yards (meters) after Sidney Govou crossed from the right.
Van Buyten recovered from a calf strain to take his place in the center of Bayern's defense alongside Holger Badstuber, with Martin Demichelis on the bench.
Cris shook off a knee injury from the first leg to take his place next to Jean-Alain Boumsong, who replaced the suspended Jeremy Toulalan.
Demichelis replaced Van Buyten at halftime, and Puel switched to a 4-4-2 formation to give Lopez more support, bringing on striker Bafetimbi Gomis for Aly Cissokho and switching Bastos to leftback.