Bayern Munich and Lyon are enjoying within the UEFA Champions League semifinals on Wednesday in Lisbon. The winner will face Paris St.-Germain on Sunday within the closing of the competitors, European soccer’s richest membership championship.

TV: Wednesday’s recreation is being broadcast within the United States on the CBS All Access streaming service, and in Spanish on Univision.


Bayern leads on the break and this feels acquainted.

Bayern strolls off on the half with a 2-Zero lead. That’s 10 targets in two video games in Lisbon.

Lyon? They’re questioning what hit them. (Hint: It was Serge Gnabry, largely.)


That ought to have been three.

Gnabry with a tantalizing cross from the proper narrowly misses the left put up. Lewandowski may have turned it in with a easy contact, and he’s kicking himself for, effectively, not kicking the ball. Oops.


Gnabry! Again! It’s 2-0!

Gnabry will get his second on a far much less fairly objective, slamming in a free ball within the objective mouth after Lopes — taking no probabilities once more — slammed into Lewandowski to smother one other shot. Unfortunately, he didn’t corral it, and Gnabry obtained to it first.

Gnabry truly began that, with a steal in midfield. Working throughout the center he fed Perisic, who neatly drove a low cross in from the left. The collision created the rebound, and there you go: 2-0 Bayern. Just like that.


Lopes smothers a shot, and Lewandowski.

Burned by his protection on the Gnabry objective, Lopes is asserting himself a bit. Shouting extra. Gesturing. And he simply cleaned out Lewandowski — pretty, however roughly — on his technique to a 50/50 ball. Better secure than sorry.


Gnabry offers Bayern a 1-Zero lead!

That seemed quite a bit simpler than it was. Gnabry corrals a protracted, looping go effortlessly on the proper wing and, sensing area inside, bursts into it. A few touches give him a gap, and simply because the ball rolls throughout the highest of the penalty space he rips a left-footed shot — from in between FIVE defenders — that screams previous Lopes into the highest left nook. Wow. Terrific objective, and Bayern leads, 1-0.

That exhibits how briskly Bayern can burn you; it was lower than a minute after a ball dinged off Neuer’s put up, and off a protracted ball meant to permit them to get better.

Instead Gnabry scores a rocket, and Bayern out of the blue has the lead.


Ekambi off the put up!

First he turned Alphonso Davies on the byline. Then, drawing the ball onto his left foot, his ripped shot beats Neuer however bangs off the put up and caroms proper again at him. Wonderful play. No reward.


Now it’s Bayern’s flip. Goretzka misfires from in shut.

A beautiful contact from Lewandowski, Bayern’s goal man, permits Goretzka to sneak in behind on the proper. But he whiffs on his shot, barely touching the ball, and rolls harmlessly throughout the objective.

Harmlessly, that’s, till Lopes realizes it would simply sneak contained in the left put up and he dives to push it out for a nook.


Memphis breaks in alone! But his shot is large.

A giant mistake by Bayern — shades of Barcelona — as a ball from deep in midfield splits the middle backs and springs Memphis Depay straight down the center, sprinting out of the middle circle. But Depay takes too many touches attempting to spherical the huge Neuer, although, and sends his falling shot into the right-side netting.

Huge early probability there.


Bayern is stretching the sector already.

Gaps swimsuit the Bundesliga champs, and so that they have instantly tried to stretch Lyon large and aspect to aspect within the opening minutes. But Rudi Garcia is not any idiot, and Lyon isn’t falling for this. It’s fairly attainable they’ve seen the Barcelona tape and know what occurs when you do.

Rory Smith’s semifinal preview: Rested vs. rusty?

It has been solely a few months since Jean-Michel Aulas declared that this is able to all be fairly unattainable. France’s soccer authorities had declared an finish to the Ligue 1 season — with 10 video games nonetheless remaining — within the face of the coronavirus pandemic, and Aulas, the proprietor and president of Olympique Lyonnais, was simmering.

Not solely would the cancellation value French golf equipment income, time and gamers, Aulas stated, not solely would it not deprive his group of the possibility to enhance on its standing — it sat seventh within the league desk when the season was stopped, which means it confronted the prospect of a primary season outdoors European competitors in additional than a decade — however it will hamstring the makes an attempt of the 2 French representatives of the Champions League.

Aulas’s idea was easy, and it was broadly held: Lyon and Paris St.-Germain, the 2 French groups nonetheless alive within the knockout rounds, would return to the Champions League chilly, weakened with ring rust, towards opponents within the full flush of the season. “In August, we are going to meet teams in these competitions who have been able to prepare better than us,” he had stated within the spring.

On Tuesday night time, P.S.G. grew to become the primary French group to achieve a Champions League closing since Monaco in 2004. On Wednesday, Lyon can be a part of its nice rival, although there’s the slightly intimidating bulwark of Bayern Munich — contemporary off an 8-2 victory towards Barcelona — standing in the way in which. Never a person to let details get in the way in which of his opinion, Aulas instructed, after P.S.G. rallied to get rid of Atalanta and Lyon shocked Manchester City within the quarterfinals, {that a} “little bit of luck” had erased the aggressive drawback the French groups had been handed.

Lyon will want that to carry this night. Bayern has seemed imperious since European soccer’s restart — since Hansi Flick took charge in November, in actual fact — culminating in that coldblooded demolition of Barcelona. The normal rule of European soccer is that the group with the better sources and the higher gamers will win, and in that sense that is as massive a mismatch as P.S.G.’s victory against RB Leipzig on Tuesday.

Lyon is, at the least, an outsider that’s simpler to cheer than Leipzig. Though the pugnacious Aulas will not be what you would possibly name universally beloved in France, he has turned his membership into one thing of a mannequin for others to observe. And he has achieved it not as soon as, however twice. First, across the flip of the century, when good recruitment, particularly from South America, turned Lyon into the main gentle in French soccer. And now, when its productive academy and its emphasis on youth has earned it a repute as one in every of Europe’s premier expertise factories.

Houssem Aouar and Maxence Caqueret are the 2 crown jewels; each might want to use this recreation as their star burst, the second they announce themselves to the world, if Lyon is to have any probability.

The lineups are out.

Bayern’s group is, as common, formidable:

Manuel Neuer; Joshua Kimmich, Jérôme Boateng, David Alaba, Alphonso Davies; Thiago Alcantra, Leon Goretzka, Ivan Perisic, Thomas Müller, Serge Gnabry; Robert Lewandowski.

It’s the identical beginning lineup that thumped Chelsea (4-1) and Barcelona (8-2) to get right here.

Lyon, too, sticks to what has labored previously, which means Moussa Dembélé, the person of the match within the win over Manchester City within the quarterfinals, begins on the bench.

The Lyon lineup:

Anthony Lopes; Leo Dubois, Marcelo, Jason Denayer, Marçal; Houssem Aouar, Maxence Caqueret, Bruno Guimaraes, Maxwel Cornet, Memphis Depay, Karl Toko Ekambi.

Today’s referee is a Spaniard, Antonio Mateu Lahoz. He has a repute as a chatty ref.

Watch the wings.

With Lyon in a 3-5-2 formation, with wings able to drop again or push ahead, and Bayern in its customary 4-2-3-1, there needs to be fairly a little bit of motion — and alternative — on the surface at this time.

Bayern’s Davies and Kimmich, for instance, will be devastating after they press ahead into the assault, which they are often anticipated to do liberally. That would possibly create some counterattacking probabilities for Lyon in the event that they get caught up ahead, nevertheless.

Of course, in the event that they get ahead and do what they did towards Barcelona — create targets or rating them in bunches — then getting upfield on the counter could also be the very last thing on Lyon’s thoughts. This Davies run alone, to arrange Kimmich towards Barcelona, is sufficient to maintain defenders up nights.

That stated, Bayern’s excessive again line — a function of its front-foot strategy — noticed it caught out early a couple of instances towards Barcelona. It was lucky to not get burned, and the rout was quickly on, however Manchester City scored first towards Manchester City by benefiting from an analogous probability. So it is aware of in addition to any group that an opponent’s aggressive nature will be turned towards it.

pregame learn on Bayern’s Hansi Flick.

Lyon’s Houssem Aouar has been right here earlier than. As a boy.

Aouar, Lyon’s promising 22-year-old midfielder, has grown up within the membership. He joined Lyon as an 11-year-old newbie in 2009, and over time has developed into one of many membership’s prime abilities since making his debut as an 18-year-old in 2017.

He wears the No. Eight jersey, which was given to him when its earlier bearer, Corentin Tolisso, joined Bayern Munich three years in the past. But that, he famous on social media this morning, will not be his solely Bayern-Lyon connection.

A decade in the past, as a 12-year-old, Aouar wrote on his social media accounts, he was one of many youth gamers chosen to hold one of many banners onto the sector when Lyon hosted its solely earlier Champions League semifinal.

Bayern Munich received that day, on a hat trick (left foot, right foot, header) by Ivica Olic, and superior to the ultimate, the place it misplaced to José Mourinho’s Inter Milan. Now Aouar has an opportunity to write down a unique story.

Bayern has a championship pedigree. But Lyon has a proud historical past, too.

Bayern Munich is chasing its sixth European title this week, and its first since 2013, when Robert Lewandowski was a overwhelmed Dortmund striker within the closing at Wembley. It simply received its eighth straight Bundesliga title, it has stars younger (Joshua Kimmich, Alphonso Davies) and previous (Thomas Müller, Lewandowski, Manuel Neuer), to not point out a roster filled with reliable position gamers and distinction makers in reserve. And it has received 31 of its 34 video games since Hansi Flick took over in November. It is, in nearly each respect, what a Champions League title contender ought to seem like.

But Lyon is not any slouch. A seven-time French champion, it was an everyday within the Champions League for a decade within the first years of the century, and it even made the semifinals in 2010, when it was ushered out by — shock! — Bayern Munich. And whereas Lyon was each opportunistic and lucky to beat Manchester City within the quarterfinals on Saturday, it has molded itself right into a defensively stable, offensively harmful squad below Rudi Garcia. And now it’s rolling, its early season struggles and its fights with its own fans lengthy forgotten. Having overwhelmed Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus already, it received’t cower in entrance of Bayern. Or at the least it shouldn’t.

What’s subsequent?

Wednesday’s winner will face Paris St.-Germain, which outclassed RB Leipzig in Tuesday’s first semifinal, within the closing on Sunday at Benfica’s Estádio da Luz.

The recreation will probably be P.S.G.’s first look within the closing, and the fruits of a yearslong mission by its Qatari homeowners to construct a world-beating group. It has not all the time gone effectively for P.S.G. But as Rory wrote Tuesday night:

After all of the flawed turns, all of the heartache and disappointment, the humiliations and the turnarounds and the gut-wrenching collapses, Paris St.-Germain has lastly achieved what it was designed and constructed to do.

This yr marked P.S.G.’s first look within the semifinals since 1995 — lengthy earlier than each the arrival of the membership’s Qatari homeowners and even the start of Kylian Mbappé — and the membership has, in recent times, developed a behavior of falling quick when confronted with one in every of Europe’s giants. But it has all the things it must compete this time: the world’s most costly participant in Neymar, arguably its greatest younger participant in Mbappé, and the grit and drive and luck that has been lacking in previous runs.

Sunday, towards a tradition-rich opponent, would be the closing take a look at of a mission that has been years within the marking.

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