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Champions League semi-final: Cornet walking tall with Lyon

After Lyon ousted Juve and City, the forward now hopes to prove his side are "every bit as good" as Bayern.

Maxwel Cornet is looking forward with determination
Maxwel Cornet is looking forward with determination POOL/AFP via Getty Images

In the UEFA Champions League semi-finals for the first time since 2009/10, Lyon look to have an impossible task as they square up to a Bayern side that put eight past mighty Barcelona in their quarter-final. However, after striking the opener in Saturday's eye-catching 3-1 defeat of Manchester City, 23-year-old forward Maxwel Cornet is not feeling overawed.

The Ivorian tells UEFA.com how Lyon have earned their place at this level, and how they are daring to dream of going even further.

On eliminating Manchester City

Maxwel Cornet: All four of his goals against Man. City
Maxwel Cornet: All four of his goals against Man. City

We scored two goals more than them. At this stage of the competition, that takes some doing. It also shows the talent that we have in this team and the work that’s been put in over these long months of preparation. So that’s good and that’s what we have to hold onto. You want to play matches like against Manchester City every day. Knowing you're up against such great teams as Manchester City or Bayern is an additional source of motivation.

The match could have gone a different way. In [the same] minute, Raheem Sterling missed an open goal and Moussa [Dembélé] scored his second, the team’s third. But you also have to make your own luck. We did everything in that match. We played as one. We played until the very end and didn't take our foot off the gas. We were chasing a semi-final.

On the Lyon mindset

To be part of a squad that is quietly and humbly writing history is really, really nice. We know there are still great things ahead of us, with two big games coming up if we go all the way, and I have faith in our squad. We have a young squad, I think you can feel that on the pitch.

[Rudi Garcia's arrival in 2019] did us a lot of good because he's a coach with experience at the highest level and of big games. What did he say before the City game? He just told us to enjoy it, because it's really, really nice to find ourselves at this stage of the competition. We've got nothing to lose; we just have to make the most of the present and to play this game as best we can.

On sensing the presence of Lyon's fans

Bayern face Lyon in last-four showdown
Bayern face Lyon in last-four showdown

We’re playing for our fans, who aren't able to be with us in the stadium to will us on, but they've got a place in the corner of our minds. We've seen all the excitement that we've created, the passion that we saw in the bars and on the streets of Lyon, and the joy that we've given our supporters. We play this sport to produce those kinds of emotions.

On Bayern

We didn’t expect [them to beat Barcelona 8-2]; we didn’t expect it because it's the great Barça we're talking about here. Their performance against Barça proved that Bayern remain an excellent team and one that mustn't be taken lightly.

We've knocked out some really big teams, the likes of Juventus and Manchester City. That shows we're every bit as good as those teams. We mustn't get carried away, we have to keep our feet on the ground and continue to work hard. The most important thing is to focus on ourselves.

On the prospect of being European champions

As a young player, it’s difficult not to think about it because I took up this profession to experience moments like these and, as the saying goes, you've got to make your dreams come true. That’s exactly what we're doing at the moment with an incredible group of young players who are living this dream. It's fantastic. We're making the most of the moment. We're going to give our all out there again and, of course, we’re still hungry.