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Olympique Lyonnais are relishing the chance to avenge last season's UEFA Women's Champions League final loss when they are reunited with 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam in next month' showpiece, with coach Patrice Lair telling UEFA.com: "We will not have an inferiority complex."
The French titleholders suffered heartbreak on penalties following a goalless draw in Getafe last year, and that defeat came 12 months after their semi-final exit to another German side in FCR 2001 Duisburg. Lair only took over at Lyon last summer, but in 2005/06 he was at the Montpellier Hérault SC helm when they lost out in the last four to 1. FFC Frankfurt. Despite that record, he believes the tables will be turned at Craven Cottage on 26 May, Lyon having stamped their ticket by winning 3-2 at Arsenal LFC on Saturday to seal a 5-2 aggregate success.
"Yes, we will win." Lair said. "
We will win because we have a certain experience and we will not have an inferiority complex towards a German team; we will fight and we will do it. I think that on the evening of the 26th, we will have a nice surprise."
That optimism was echoed by the nine-goal top scorer on Lyon's run, Lotta Schelin. "Of course [we can win]," the Sweden forward said. "You know the Germans; we know they are good and everything. We always want to do our best and want to beat them. This time it's our year."
Lyon made sure of a return to London next month with three goals before half-time at Arsenal, ensuring the home side's two strikes after the break were a mere consolation. "We had a very good first half," Lair said. "We attacked and pressed high. We scored the first two goals that way and made the difference right before half-time. In the second half; we wanted to play it safe for the girls on [yellow] cards, so that I have all my players available for the final at Fulham on the 26th."
There had been a blow for Lyon on the eve of the Arsenal return when winger Élodie Thomis suffered a thigh tear. Replacement Eugénie Le Sommer went on to score the first two goals and make the third, however, emphasising the strength of Lair's squad.
"Eugénie played a great game," her coach explained. "She's constantly improved this season. She came from a lower club in the French first division and she has gained a lot of experience. Today she was rewarded for her hard work with those two goals and a great performance. We will get Élodie Thomis back; she will be an extra asset for the team in order to perform well in the final."
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