Manuel Neuer ahead of the semi-final with Lyon: "We have to be wide awake"

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Any early risers at the Bayern team hotel in Lisbon on the morning after the 8-2 thrashing of Barcelona will have seen Manuel Neuer already hard at work. The 34-year-old was out on his mountain bike before breakfast to explore the surroundings in the Portuguese capital. “After most late Champions League games, you don’t sleep so well,” the FCB captain said. “So, I was up early and did a little tour.”

Historic victory already in the past

Manuel Neuer and Thomas Müller made a triumphant return to the hotel after the 8-2 win over Barcelona.

Looking back at the previous evening’s historic Champions League action, it wasn’t a surprise that Neuer struggled to sleep. “What happened was madness. You go over every move, every goal again in your head,” the 2014 World Cup winner said thinking back to the famous display against the Catalans. Yet despite the excitement of the game, the goalkeeper had already put the result behind him on his mourning bike ride and turned his focus to the next step in the objective.

“Things move very quickly in football. You can't rest for long, look back and say, ‘wow, look at what we’ve achieved’. Instead, we have to take the next step, we have to tackle the next task,” Neuer stated when looking ahead to Wednesday’s semi-final with Lyon. Alongside his teammates, the four-time World’s Best Goalkeeper had already begun preparing for that game by watching the seven-time French champions in action against Manchester City in the quarter-finals on Saturday. And it left an impression.

Respect for Lyon

As ever, Neuer was an impressive final line of defence for Bayern against Barcelona, here denying Luis Suarez.

“Lyon really are a very good team tactically. They can play on the break, and they have killers in their ranks who punished City mercilessly,” said Neuer in summary of their 3-1 win over Pep Guardiola’s favourites. “We have to make sure we’re wide awake. Any mistake can be quickly punished and you’re quickly out.”

Neuer also has no concern that Bayern could take the game somewhat easily. “We’re used to competitive situations. We’re all really hungry and also mentally fit right now. We’re also mentally there and know what all this means to us.” It means the 92-time Germany international is “confident” coming into the final four and hasn’t forgotten the team’s own strengths. “You’ve seen we’ve got a good scoring rate. We’re flexible and have a lot of players who can score goals. I think we’re just in form.”

Find out all about the Barcelona thrashing and the preparations for the Champions League semi-final here: