Serge Gnabry Brace Sends Bayern Munich To Champions League Final

There were no surprises in the second Champions League Semi-Final as Bayern Munich put three past Lyon at the José Alvalade Stadium in Lisbon to reserve a table for the final European showdown for the 11th time in their history.

A brace from Serge Gnabry and a late Robert Lewandowski goal got the job done for the Bavarians against a keen French side that was off to a good start as they created a couple of dangerous chances early in the game. After being hit twice by Gnabry in the first half, however, Rudi Garcia’s eleven progressively faded out – allowing the German to cruise past the second period mostly on autopilot.

Odds were indeed strongly in Bayern’s favor as the pair had already met in a Champions League Semi-Final in the 2009-2010 season, with the German side advancing on a 4-0 aggregate score. Nothing new under the sun, then.

The Champions League Final will thus be – as most pundits were expecting – Bayern Munich-Paris Saint-Germain. The two will meet on Sunday for the latest act of this unprecedented fan-less Final Eight which so far delivered loads of goals and emotions. There’s reason to believe that Bayern and PSG will put together a more exciting show that what Liverpool and Tottenham did one year ago.

Despite Bayern’s unquestionable win, however, those expecting a one-sided hammering with Lyon on the receiving end were surprised to see that the French side created the first two clear chances in the game with Memphis Depay and Karl Toko Ekambi.

In the 6th minute, Maxence Caqueret intercepted a Thiago Alcantara pass in the midfield and ignited Depay’s swift counter-attack. The Dutchman did everything well, including dribbling past goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, but ended shooting from a wide-angle position and hit the side netting.

Lyon were fearless and insisted on their offensive attitude but all their forcing only resulted in Toko Ekambi hitting the post after working the ball past his marker David Alaba.

When the Bavarians woke up, they did short work of the opposition and took the lead in the 17th minute with a stunning solo initiative from Serge Gnabry, who galloped from the right flank to the center and slammed the ball past Anthony Lopes with a left-foot missile.

Serge Gnabry's stunning left-foot screamer that gave Bayern Munich the lead in their 3-0 win over Paris Saint-Germain
Serge Gnabry’s stunning left-foot screamer that gave Bayern Munich the lead in their 3-0 win over Paris Saint-Germain

With the German side warmed up, chances started to rain for Hans-Dieter Flick’s Bavarians: In the 22nd minute, Thiago Alcantara found Thomas Muller all alone in the box but the Mannschaft striker was just a split second late and couldn’t convert his pass. Three minutes later, Ivan Perisic whipped the ball into Lyon’s area, Fernando Marcal’s clearance found Gnabry on its trajectory, but the German’s shot was pushed back by Lopes.

Bayern were now fully in control and doubled their lead in the 33rd minute, once again with Serge Gnabry. Ivan Perisic served Robert Lewandowski from the left but the Pole managed to miss the unmissable as he hit Anthony Lopes from point-blank range. Good for him and for Bayern that ruthless Gnabry was lurking just behind him and could easily tap the ball in to bring the score at 2-0.

Ten minutes into the second half, Rudi Garcia made the substitution that had changed the game against Manchester City, bringing in Moussa Dembélé for his captain Memphis Depay. For a minute, that seemed to work as Dembélé immediately put his stamp on a combination that set Toko Ekambi free in front of Neuer – the German juggernaut, however, managed to keep his sheet clean.

Bayern wrapped it up in the 88th minute with Robert Lewandowski, who powered a sharp header to make the best out of a Joshua Kimmich free-kick and redeem himself from his ominous first-half mistake. Lewandowski thus made it to the scoresheet for the 15th time in this European campaign – he scored in every Champions League game he played this season!

The Polish striker may not have been brilliant tonight, but when it comes to scoring he is always where he needs to be – and Bayern Munich are surely going to need his services in the upcoming Final with the Parisiens.    



August 19, 2020 – Champions League 2019-20 Semi-Finals

SCORERS: 18′ Gnabry, 33′ Gnabry, 88′ Lewandowski

LYON (3-5-2): Lopes; Denayer, Marcelo, Marcal (72′ Cherki); Dubois (66′ Tete), Caqueret, Guimaraes (46′ Mendes), Aouar, Cornet; Depay (57′ Dembélé), Toko Ekambi (66′ Reine-Adelaide) (Tatarusanu, Diomande, Andersen, Rafael, Traoré, Reine-Adelaide, Jean Lucas, Bard) Coach: Garcia
BAYERN MUNICH (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Kimmich, Boateng (46′ Sule), Alaba, Davies; Thiago Alcantara (82′ Thiago Alcantara), Goretzka (82′ Pavard); Gnabry (74′ Coutinho), Muller, Perisic (62′ Coman); Lewandowski (Ulreich, Hoffmann, Odriozola, Javi Martinez, Cuisance, Lucas, Zirkzee) Coach: Flick

REFEREE: Mateu Lahoz (Spain)
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Marcal, Marcelo, Mendes (L); Extra Time: 1st Half 0′, 2nd Half 3′