Lyon vs Bayern Munich: a chance for Champions League revenge
Lyon came up short against Bayern Munich in 2010, but their young side have overcome the odds just to get another shot at the German giants.
Lyon have returned to the Champions League semi-finals for the first time in 10 years, but a familiar foe lies in their path.
As in the 2009-10 season, Lyon must get past Bayern Munich to reach the final.
In that campaign, Bayern eased through 4-0 on aggregate, despite a testing first leg, but then lost to Inter in the showpiece match. Both sides will hope for a change in fortunes as they prepare for a mammoth week in Lisbon.
First, we take a look at their previous clash, the contrasting fortunes that led to Lyon's 10-year absence from the last four and how Houssem Aouar can help stop Bayern.
OLIC OUSTS OL IN THE LAST FOUR
Heading into the two-legged tie in 2010, Lyon had faced Bayern six times in European competition, with the sides winning two matches apiece and drawing the other two.
The scales tipped in Bayern's favour in the first leg in Munich despite Franck Ribery's first-half red card. Jeremy Toulalan was dismissed early in the second period and Arjen Robben struck, his powerful shot taking a touch off Thomas Muller to deceive Hugo Lloris for a 1-0 win.
Any hopes of a Lyon turnaround were significantly dented before half-time in the return leg as Ivica Olic's right-footed goal from a Muller pass left Les Gones needed to score three.
Instead, Cris saw red and Olic scored twice more - first with his left boot, then with his head - for a perfect hat-trick to complete a dominant aggregate win.
LES GONES GONE FROM THE BIG STAGE
Defeat to Bayern marked the end of Lyon's era of dominance in France. Having won seven consecutive Ligue 1 titles up to the end of the 2007-08 season, they are yet to add an eighth.
Indeed, OL have subsequently struggled to even challenge for the championship amid Paris Saint-Germain's ascent and this year finished seventh, their lowest placing since 1997 - albeit partly due to the coronavirus pandemic.
By contrast, Bayern, who had competition in Germany in the 2000s, have claimed eight consecutive Bundesliga crowns.
It has been a similar tale on the European stage, too. Lyon played in the knockout stages of the Champions League in every season between 2003-04 and 2011-12 but only returned last term. Not since 2011-12 have they won consecutive matches in the same campaign in this competition.
After defeat in the 2010 decider, Bayern returned to the final in 2012 and 2013, winning the latter match against Borussia Dortmund. They are making their 12th semi-final appearance, second only to Real Madrid.
GETTING BACK AGAINST THE ODDS
Given their domestic struggles this term, it has come as some surprise that Rudi Garcia - an unpopular appointment - has been able to guide Lyon back to the big time.
Lyon were a third seed in the group-stage draw but profited from a relatively forgiving pool, coming from two goals down in their final match to earn a point against RB Leipzig and pip Benfica and Zenit to second place.
The subsequent draws have not been quite as kind, pairing OL first with Juventus and then with Manchester City, but the delay in the season meant the return of the injured Memphis Depay to help inspire them in both ties.
Bayern present an even tougher task, though. Hansi Flick's side have won their first nine Champions League games this term - a joint-record - and can tie the all-time streak across multiple campaigns with a 10th victory.
CAPABLE OF CAUSING PROBLEMS
Lyon just last week dispensed of a City side who love to attack but too often leave the door open at the back. They will back themselves to beat Bayern.
The Bundesliga champions battered Barca with their relentless pressing, yet this was the oldest Blaugrana XI in Champions League history at an average age of 29 years and 329 days.
OL will expect to have more energy - particularly in midfield. The trio that started against City were 20, 22 and 22 respectively and combined for eight tackles, more than the entire Barca team managed against Bayern.
The outstanding Aouar also assisted the second strike and has now created seven goals since his Champions League debut, trailing only Kylian Mbappe (10) and Riyad Mahrez (eight) in that regard. Meanwhile, he has won 20 fouls this season, second only to Marco Verratti.
Disrupting the likes of Thiago, Leon Goretzka and Muller - who still remains 10 years on - will be a major ask, but Lyon have endured a long wait to get another shot at the big time.
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