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Willy Sagnol’s warning:

That’s what makes Olympique so dangerous

Willy Sagnol is a Champions League winner, a member of the Bayern team which lifted the prestige trophy in Milan back in 2001. He might even have been facing Olympique Lyon for the right to contest this term’s final, had he not had to end his illustrious career prematurely with injury a year ago. accompanied the in-demand Frenchman to a news conference in Munich, and then spoke exclusively to the
33-year-old about the midweek clash.

Willy Sagnol on…

…the going-in position:
“It’s 50:50. Neither probably wanted Barca or Inter at this stage and both will be totally fired up: it’s not every season you get this close to the Champions League final. I know from my own experience that it’s never easy against Lyon, but I think Bayern definitely have the better team.”

…Lyon’s strengths:
“They’re strongest in defence. They keep it very tight, they’re very well organised, and where necessary, they defend with eleven men. It’s hard to score against Lyon. They always play as a team. I’m not surprised they’ve made the semis, but they don’t have the footballing class that Bayern have with Robben and Ribéry.”

…Keeper Hugo Lloris:
“I rate him as one of the five best keepers in Europe. He’s not the best all-rounder, but purely as a shot-stopper, he’s up there with Casillas and Buffon.”

…the key head-to-head:
“Striker Lisandro Lopez is Lyon’s best man. He’s quick, and intelligent too. If Demichelis and Van Buyten succeed in keeping him quiet for 180 minutes, Bayern have a great chance of making the final. I rate these two as Bayern’s most important players in the semi Bayern, because you’ll always score a goal or two with Robben, Ribéry, Olic, Müller, Gomez and Klose. But it’ll be vital to keep it under control at the back.”

…the current team versus the trophy winners from 2001:
“In recent weeks, the current team has demonstrated the same passion which carried us to the title. But it’s a very different style of football. Van Gaal likes to attack, but we were a defensive team. We had Andersson, Linke and Kuffour, three centre-halves. They weren’t the world’s greatest footballers, but they were terrific tacklers. With Liza[razu] on the left and me on the right, we played with five at the back when not in possession. After one match, a Madrid journalist said to me: Bayern just parked the bus in front of goal, and I think it was well put. Not conceding was the most important thing for us. I reckon the current team is capable of better football, they’re quicker, keep the ball for longer, and they’re occasionally spectacular.”

…whether the chase for three trophies might be a pitfall:
“No, I don’t think so. The opposite in fact! As a player, you live for these moments where you might win everything. It gives you motivation and an adrenalin rush. But you don’t want to be talking about it too much, just concentrate and do your job.”

…why he’s right behind Bayern this time:
“I come from St. Etienne and I’m on the supervisory board there these days. The relationship between us and Lyon is like Schalke and Dortmund in the Bundesliga. I have huge respect for the way Lyon have come on, but they’ll never be close to my heart. I’d like to see Bayern in the final. For the club, the players, and for German football as a whole, it’s important Bayern make it."

…the possible course of the tie:
“There won’t be as many goals as in the Round of 16 against Fiorentina and the quarter-final against United. I’d regard a goalless draw at home as practically perfect for Bayern, because they’ll always score away from home, I’m sure of that.”