OL - Bayern Munich : A battle to make history (Wednesday, 21h)
It's been a very special summer for football clubs still engaged in competition. The month of August generally is thought of as being the province of the transfer window, the start of the league season, or even playoffs to enter the various European competitions. This year, it’s the opposite: this summer period represents the climax of the season. OL are experiencing this more than most with the Coupe de la Ligue final, unfortunately lost to PSG (0-0, 6-5 pen) and especially the resumption of the Champions League with this famous Final 8 in Lisbon. Before that, it was necessary to get beat Juventus in the round of 16 second leg, which was perfectly achieved by Les Gones (2-1 loss, qualifying thanks to a 1-0 victory in the first leg). In the quarterfinals, OL recorded a second big feat by eliminating Manchester City on Saturday night, one of the competition's favorites for the title (3-1). Now it's time for the semifinals and a third potential shock.
The word exploit would perhaps be weak as the task that awaits Rudi Garcia's players is immense. Already by the exceptional quality of the opponent who will have to be overcome, but also and above all because this is only the second time that OL have reached such a high level in the Champions League. There was the Europa League semifinal against Ajax in 2017, of course (4-1, 3-1), but the Champions League remains a competition apart. The last and only time was in 2010, also against Bayern (1-0, 0-3), who would lose in the final against Inter Milan (2-0). Experience often prevails in such matches and aside from this, the advantage is bound to be with the German side. The challenge for Les Gones, not only for the players, but also for the staff and coaches, will be to rise as a whole to the level of the event. This match may represent a turning point in the history of the club: yes, OL are in the semifinals. It's up to them to continue to prove that they have a chance to go further.
This OL team is capable of absolutely anything, but it will take even more to limit Bayern. The now eight-time reigning German champions FC Hollywood are having a season close to the unreal. The best attack in the Bundesliga (100 goals), best defense (32 goals), best attack in the Champions League (39 goals), the Rekordmeister has also added the German Cup to their harvest and is therefore in the race for a hat-trick that it's already achieved in 2013. In this quest, they can count on an incandescent Robert Lewandowski who is certainly on the podium of the best players in the world this year (top scorer in the Champions League with 14 goals, assists leader with 5, 54 goals in all competitions combined). And again, if were only him about which OL have to worry… Thomas Müller, Serge Gnabry, Alphonso Davies, Kingsley Coman: with Hansi Flick as conductor, Bayern seems to be a symphony where each player is a note as perfect as it is shrill for the opponent, Barça can attest to this. It's up to Rudi Garcia to figure out how to detune the Munich instruments so that, when the clock strikes 11pm, he can fall asleep with the sweetest of lullabies.