Bayern Munich faced Lyon in the Champions League semi-final, and were on path to win the most coveted trophy of club football. Hansi Flick has completely revitalised the team since his arrival. Their recent thrashing of Barcelona is a testament to their performance. Now we look at how they dominated Lyon and consequently reached the final.
Hansi Flick decided to field the same Bayern Munich lineup that was responsible for the demolition of FC Barcelona. One notable change was the inclusion of Benjamin Pavard into the squad after his injury.
Lyon started with their usual 3-5-2 setup that worked against Manchester City and Juventus. All eyes were on the midfield 3, who have been vital for Lyon ’s recent success.
Bayern Munich on the ball
Thomas Muller would often push up with Bayern Munich ’s front 3 and make darting runs behind Lyon’s backline. This had 2 benefits. Firstly, it limited Lyon’s wing backs from making any attacking contributions. Secondly, it allowed Kimmich to operate freely.
Bayern ’s attacking structure was set up in a way that allowed them to progress the ball quickly and restart the attack in case they got dispossessed. The idea was simple – either Thiago or Kimmich should be free during the build-up so they could make progressive passes.
Thiago would often drop deep next to the centre backs to create a 3v2 situation against Lyon’s front line. This invites pressure from Aouar but the Spaniard is technically adept allowing him to make an incisive pass towards Muller or Goretzka who overloaded the central areas of the pitch. An alternative sequence would be to progress via Kimmich. Furthermore, it is worth noting that Gnabry’s positioning is vital who is responsible for pinning Cornet. As a result, it allowed Kimmich to dictate the play.
Lyon on the ball
Bayern Munich ’s backline was positioned very high to make the pitch more compact. However, this was one of their major weaknesses during the game. Lyon struggled to move the ball up the pitch with conventional build-up sequences. Hence, they often bypassed the press by playing a long ball towards their runners – Cornet or Ekambi.
They created goal scoring chances similarly as illustrated early in the game but Depay and Ekambi’s poor finishing let the team down. It showed that Bayern ’s defense could be beaten with pace but Lyon failed to recreate these chances which proved to be very costly for Rudi Garcia’s men.
In conclusion, Bayern Munich were the superior side throughout the game. They managed to nullify Lyon’s offensive threats with ease, despite a few scares here and there. Their attacking prowess combined with their brilliant positioning overwhelmed Lyon and managed to book a spot in the Champions League final.
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