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Louis van Gaal paid tribute to his FC Bayern München team for "showing Europe how strong we are" during the 1-0 victory against Olympique Lyonnais in their UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg. The Dutch coach said Bayern were the dominant force after Franck Ribéry was dismissed and backed his side to add to Arjen Robben's goal in the return in France next Tuesday. His opposite number, Claude Puel, cited the "pressure" Bayern applied as being a key factor in Lyon's narrow defeat.
Louis van Gaal, Bayern coach
I'm very satisfied. We showed Europe tonight how strong we are by dominating with ten men against 11. I didn't think we would win 1-0 with [Franck] Ribéry getting a red card, but even when we were a man down we were the dominant side. We created more chances when we had ten men against 11.
When it was then ten against ten I sent on Mario Gómez to score a goal quickly. We created many chances and, although we only scored one goal, that is good. It's a good result because in the home games against Fiorentina and Manchester [United] the score [both 2-1] was not that good. Normally we score away from home so if we get one in the second leg Lyon will have to score three.
Claude Puel, Lyon coach
It was a tough first leg. We were courageous, my players fought well, but we didn't have many chances, particularly in the first half. Even though we were well organised we lost the ball too much. We weren't in control enough and lacked the power to stay in their half. Things were better after Franck Ribéry was sent off; it's just a pity we weren't able to make the most of this and bring on Bafétimbi Gomis.
When Jérémy Toulalan was shown a red card we were back to square one. It was not the same with [Maxime] Gonalons moving from midfield to the centre-back, while we also had to introduce Jean II [Makoun], who is just back from injury.
At that point we didn't have enough skill to threaten them. We tried to be courageous and keep the score as it was.
Bayern applied pressure from the beginning and controlled things very well. They wore us down throughout the game and that's why I regret that one of my players was sent off. We lost but it's still wide open.
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