LISBON, Portugal — A couple of missed chances early on cost Lyon its chance of challenging Bayern Munich for a spot in the Champions League final.
Lyon got off to a good start in Wednesday's semifinal at the Alvalade Stadium, but it failed to capitalize on its scoring opportunities and ended up losing 3-0, missing out on what would have been its first final appearance in Europe's top club competition.
“Even if we can be proud of our run and the match we played today, of course we’re disappointed," Lyon coach Rudi Garcia said. “We didn’t have any luck at the start of the match because we had the two biggest chances.”
“We should have been ahead,” Garcia added. “We had a sentiment of injustice that set us back, even if we didn’t give up in the second half.”
Forwards Karl Toko Ekambi and Memphis Depay were responsible for the misses that could have changed the story for Lyon.
Depay came close four minutes into the match after a breakaway that left him in front of Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, but his angled shot missed wide of the net.
In the 17th, Ekambi got past two defenders inside the area but his close-range left-foot shot struck the near post.
“I don’t think we can have any regrets concerning the way we played in the first 15 minutes because we had two big chances," Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes said. “We could have been 2-0 up. In these top-level matches you pay for not taking your chances.”
And Lyon was made to pay right away.
A minute after Ekambi's miss, Bayern opened the scoring through Serge Gnabry and took control of the match.
“We were a bit lucky not to go behind early on but then we showed our quality," Neuer said. "We tried to put Lyon under pressure and created some good chances. It was a great strike from Gnabry that came at the right time.”
Gnarbry added to the lead in the 33rd and Robert Lewandowski sealed the victory in the 88th to set up a final between the German powerhouse and Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday.
“We missed the efficiency in front of goal,” Lyon defender Marcelo said: “I’m proud of my team, we faced a great team and played at the same level.”
Bayern coach Hansi Flick acknowledged it was a difficult start against Lyon, which had eliminated Cristiano Ronaldo's Juventus in the round of 16 and Pep Guardiola's Manchester City in the quarterfinals.
“We knew it would be difficult, they came in off the back of great performances against City and Juventus,” Flick said. "They are strong tactically and they caused us problems early on.”
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Tales Azzoni, The Associated Press