Bayern Munich coach Louis van Gaal claims the best way of defending his side's 1-0 advantage over Lyon in the Champions League semi-final second leg tonight will be to attack their hosts as if it were a brand new knockout match.
Bayern have one foot in the Madrid final thanks to Arjen Robben’s strike at the Allianz Arena last Wednesday and Van Gaal suggested his side should wipe the slate clean and pretend to be starting with the score at |0-0 in order to progress to their first Champions League final since 2001.
“We have got to forget about the first leg because this is going to be a different game,” he said. “But I believe that my players would love to reach the final. Our will is strong.”
Bayern are likely to be without several key players.
Franck Ribery is suspended while defenders Daniel van Buyten, Martin Demichelis and Diego Contento are all carrying knocks. Defensive midfielder Anatoliy Tymoschuk has not made the trip to France due to illness.
“We have many injuries and many problems,” Van Gaal admitted. “We hope that they can play. We have brought 17 players and if they cannot play, then we will still have 14 players. We will still be able to field 11 players.”
Even if his team is down to the bare bones, Van Gaal knows he can rely on one extra quality which defines a German team.
“When I was coach in Holland, I used to always say that you have not beaten a German team, even if it is the 90th minute and you are ahead,” he explained. “We have many German players in our side and there are many foreigners who have played a long time in Germany. These players have learnt a lot from German football and this extraordinary mentality of German footballers. That is also why I am here at Bayern Munich.”