Garcia’s Lyon to be ‘stone in Bayern’s shoe’ for Champions League semi


Lisbon (AFP) – Lyon coach Rudi Garcia said on Tuesday he wants his side to be “the stone in the shoe” of Bayern Munich ahead of the two sides’ Champions League semi-final.

The French club face the five-time European champions on Wednesday for a place at Sunday’s final held in Lisbon due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Bayern humiliated Barcelona 8-2 on Friday after winning a record-extending 29th Bundesliga title earlier this year.

“Bayern have quite incredible statistics. But you can’t stop at that. We’re underdogs. Even if we have less of a chance of making it through than them, we have a chance,” Garcia, who replaced the sacked Sylvinho in October, said.

“We are not a big mountain to climb but sometime you just need a small stone in your shoe to stop you from climbing. We’re hoping to be that small stone tomorrow,” he added.

Garcia’s side, who need to win the Champions League to play in Europe next season after a seventh-placed finish in Ligue 1, have overcome Serie A winners Juventus and Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City to feature in just their second last four appearance in the competition.

“It’s huge to be in a semi-final. But we’ve won nothing. We have to keep all our determination and remain mobilised for the next match,” the ex-Marseille and Roma boss said.

“The two qualifications we claimed have to give us confidence, as much as the team needs, and we need to show we can do big things.”

French World Cup winner Corentin Tolisso left Lyon for the Bavarians in 2017 and has featured in the two most recent European victories from the bench.

“He’s worked a lot in recent weeks and now he’s on form again,” Bayern coach Hansi Flick said.

“He came on against Chelsea, he scored a goal, he came on against Barcelona. We didn’t bring him on by accident, he was present straight away. Obviously we have spoken about Lyon, but I won’t tell you what we discussed,” he added.

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