Van Gaal hails team effort

LYON - Striker Ivica Olic might have expected fulsome praise from coach Louis van Gaal after his hat-trick sent Bayern Munich into the Champions League final on Tuesday. Van Gaal preferred to dwell on his team's efforts.

"He scored three goals, he pressed high on the pitch as well, which is important in our organisation," Dutchman Van Gaal told a press conference after Bayern thrashed Olympique Lyon 3-0.

NEWS: Bayern brush aside Lyon

"We can rely on him, once again he scored three goals but it is because he is the closest player to the goal. I'm sorry, but that's the way I think."

Olic was happy to acknowledge his team-mates.

"We were good today, the whole team played a super game and therefore it was easy for me to play forward," the Croatian said.

"We were compact. Our defense and midfield played very well and if you get such a performance from the back and the midfield, then opportunities are created for me and that's simple for me."

Following an inconsistent start, Van Gaal, who arrived at Bayern during the close season, has made a strong impact at the German club.

Bayern won only one of their first four Bundesliga matches this season and were on the brink of elimination from their Champions League group after two defeats against Girondins Bordeaux.

But they can now look forward to their first Champions League final since 2001 and are also poised to win the Bundesliga title.

"The players now know what it's like to spend 10 months with Van Gaal, they know it's not easy but they're happy now and so am I," he said.

The former Ajax coach will be even happier if Inter Milan, who won the first leg 3-1, see off Barcelona on Wednesday in the other semi-final.

"I think we are more likely to play Inter and that would give me the opportunity to have a press conference with my friend Jose Mourinho," he said.

Inter Milan coach Mourinho was an assistant coach at Barcelona when Van Gaal was manager from 1997-2000.

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