Statistics will count for nothing when underdogs Olympique Lyonnais take on free-scoring Bayern Munich in their Champions League semi-final on Wednesday, coach Rudi Garcia has warned.
Lyon, in their first Champions League semi-final since 2010, fear nothing after knocking out Juventus in the last 16 and Manchester City in the quarter-finals, showing resilience and poise to secure their place in the last four.
Asked about Bayern’s impressive firepower, which was on full display in the German side’s 8-2 dismantling of Barcelona in the previous round, Garcia pointed out that his team had just sent an equally formidable attacking side packing.
“City scored more than 100 goals in the Premier League, so if we just look at the stats we can just watch the game at the hotel and Bayern can play alone,” Garcia told a news conference on Tuesday.
Ten years after being denied a spot in the final by Bayern in a 4-0 aggregate defeat, Lyon believe they have a chance against the German champions.
“They don’t have a lot of weak points but no team are perfect,” Garcia said.
“We might be the underdogs but we beat big teams to get there and others may start taking us seriously.
“Maybe we’re not a big mountain to climb but sometimes just a little pebble in your shoe can prevent you from climbing that little mountain.”
Garcia said he could rely on his whole squad as no player is injured and does not think having played against City only four days ago will be a problem.
“Now we can change half of the team - with five substitutions being allowed - so it’s okay,” he explained.
“We can be a pain for any team.”
Goalkeeper Anthony Lopes was confident he and his team mates would not give up until the final whistle.
“We have the opportunity to play in the semi-finals of the Champions League. Bayern are a big team but we’re going to give everything,” he said.
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