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Van Gaal talks up Bayern challenge

Having reached the UEFA Champions League final in emphatic fashion, coach Louis van Gaal said FC Bayern München can "beat any team" as he looks ahead to next month's decider.

Van Gaal talks up Bayern challenge
Van Gaal talks up Bayern challenge ©UEFA.com

Louis van Gaal sounded a warning to FC Bayern München's UEFA Champions League final opponents after the German club booked their place in next month's showpiece with a 3-0 victory at Olympique Lyonnais, saying "if we play like this it will be hard to beat us".  Beaten coach Claude Puel pointed to the chances his side squandered but overall was full of praise for a Bayern outfit whose boundless energy and strength proved too much for his team.

Louis van Gaal, Bayern coach
We were well organised and if we play like this all the time it will be hard to beat us. The players now know what it's like to spend ten months with Van Gaal, they know it's not easy but they're happy now and so am I. I always believe my team can play football this way. Bayern can beat any team; that's why we've come this far. It was a fantastic performance – it's awesome to be in the final.

Since our match against Juve, we've always played really well in the Champions League. We've won nothing yet, we're only in the final of this competition and the German Cup and we're well-placed in the Bundesliga. We've got a good chance of winning something this season. I’ve always thought the team could make it to the final.  We defended very well, not just the defenders. I hope José Mourinho's Inter will join us but I'm also bound to Barcelona [a side he coached]. They play beautifully and are our reference point but Inter would suit us better.

Mark van Bommel, Bayern midfielder
It was a very tough, especially in the first half when we did lots of pressing. They had only one chance in the first half but it was still very strenuous. Reaching the final with Bayern was more difficult than with Barcelona [in 2006]. We had a new coach, new players and at the beginning of the season it didn't look so good, but since then we've grown together.

Claude Puel, Lyon coach
Congratulations to Bayern, they were better than us in many areas. Their physical power had an impact on the game. They remained focused and strong until the last minute. We have a few regrets because we could have got back into the game from good situations at the far post. We spurned the chances we had from [Michel] Bastos, Bafé [timbi Gomis] and Chelito [César Delgado]. Those chances could have helped us. We tried in the second half but Cris' red card put paid to our chances.

The 3-0 scoreline must be put in perspective with Cris being sent off and the fact that we tried to take risks and were punished on the couterattack. We were fresh after six days off but it was not enough. I was impressed by Bayern. We have not met a team with such physical strength since the start of the competition. They controlled the ball and forced us to run a lot. A goal would have brought us back into the mix. The score is heavy compared to what the players put in. There's nothing to reproach them for. It leaves a feeling of emptiness.

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