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Final dream alive

Rummenigge: European football at its best

It was a night when the Allianz Arena rocked, the players responded and the home side triumphed in a match where the balance of fortune swung first one way, then the other. “That was European football at its best,” a briefly English-speaking Karl-Heinz Rummenigge waxed lyrical after Bayern’s 1-0 win over Olympique Lyon in Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final first leg.

The Bayern chairman was still buzzing with the memory of “a highly dramatic second half, which was probably our best in Europe this season.” Once again, it was Arjen Robben who supplied the crowning glory with the match-winning goal on 69 minutes, keeping alive Bayern’s dream of a first appearance in the final since winning the trophy back in 2001.

“I think we’ve again showed the whole of Europe just how strong we are,” offered Louis van Gaal. The head coach said he was “very satisfied” with his team, especially because the priority target of keeping a clean sheet was achieved with some comfort. FCB are usually good for at least one goal away from home, Van Gaal continued, recalling two goals apiece away to Manchester United and Fiorentina, and a 4-1 win in Turin. “I think we’re capable of scoring in Lyon, and that would mean they’d have to score three,” Rummenigge agreed.