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Classy Lyon take title from Potsdam

Published: Thursday 26 May 2011, 22.48CET
Olympique Lyonnais 2-0 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam
Goals in each half from Wendie Renard and Lara Dickenmann helped Lyon avenge their 2010 final defeat by Potsdam and claim a first European title.
by Paul Saffer
from Craven Cottage

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Published: Thursday 26 May 2011, 22.48CET

Classy Lyon take title from Potsdam

Olympique Lyonnais 2-0 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam
Goals in each half from Wendie Renard and Lara Dickenmann helped Lyon avenge their 2010 final defeat by Potsdam and claim a first European title.

Olympique Lyonnais claimed the UEFA Women's Champions League title from 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam as Wendie Renard and Lara Dickenmann struck to settle the final in London.

A year ago in Getafe, Potsdam beat Lyon on penalties to take the European crown for the second time, but this season France have their first champions. Towering right-back Renard pounced on a goalmouth scramble not long before the half-hour and the German titleholders' hopes were ended five minutes from time by substitute Dickenmann.

Potsdam were missing their European top scorer Yuki Nagasato with a knee injury, but they still fielded a three-strong forward line of Isabel Kerschowski, Fatmire Bajramaj and Anja Mittag. The reigning champions immediately forced Lyon goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi into action as she stopped Kerschowski's shot from Tabea Kemme's deep cross.

Lyon, though, were the livelier side early on and nearly took the lead in odd fashion when Louisa Necib's corner curled on to the post, aided by the distinct breeze sweeping into from the Thames. Lotta Schelin, injured for last year's final, also came close with an angled shot after a superb passing move, and goalkeeper Anna Felicitas Sarholz got down well to deny the ubiquitous Camille Abily, whose top-class midfield performance earned her the Player of the Match award.

Sarholz, the shootout hero a year ago, made another diving stop from Schelin, who was beginning to create menace after a quiet start. The  young custodian was beaten on 27 minutes, however, when Sonia Bompastor swung over a corner which was headed back by Amandine Henry to Schelin; the Sweden striker's effort was blocked by Sarholz but Renard was there to poke in the rebound. Potsdam now had to regroup and began to pose a threat of their own late in the half. Bouhaddi, though, was a commanding presence in the Lyon goal.

Less than a minute into the second half, Potsdam created a great chance, Inka Wesely just unable to direct her header inside the box on target. At the other end, Élodie Thomis was sent clear but her shot did not trouble Sarholz, who was now struggling with an ankle injury.

Bajramaj, playing her last game before joining 1. FFC Frankfurt, was doing her best to inspire Potsdam and after one run up the left the ball was swept across to Kerschowski, her effort stopped by the feet of Bouhaddi. Kerschowski then nearly created the equaliser, sweeping down the right only for her low ball to elude the control of Mittag.

Although the contest remained in the balance, Patrice Lair's side were looking very strong in an increasingly physical contest and the team that won all 21 of their French league games this season had the resources to send on both Dickenmann and Eugénie Le Sommer, scorers of vital goals in earlier rounds. The replacements duly combined to settle the final, Le Sommer delivering a pinpoint cross from the right which Swiss international Dickenmann controlled before brilliantly dispatching into the top corner to crown Lyon worthy champions.

Last updated: 27/05/11 15.50CET

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