Olympique Lyonnais midfielder Camille Abily believes the title holders have "one foot in the final" after Sunday's exceptional 5-1 victory in the first leg of their UEFA Women's Champions League last-four tie against 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam.
Abily was one of the chief architects of a blistering performance at the Stade de Gerland, scoring two and setting up another as OL secured a four-goal advantage against last season's runners-up. The emphatic victory ensures Patrice Lair's charges will be strong favourites to book their place in a third successive final when they travel to Potsdam next Sunday – and French international Abily was understandably delighted.
"Scoring five goals against a team like Potsdam shows how much progress we have made," the 27-year-old told UEFA.com. "We matched the Germans from an athletic point of view and showed again we have the speed and skill in attack to hurt opponents. We have one foot in the final now, but it's not over yet. We have to remain focused because we'd look very silly if we lost 4-0 over there and went out."
While Amandine Henry, Lotta Schelin and Lara Dickenmann also registered – taking Lyon's tally to 37 goals in seven European matches – Bianca Schmidt offered the Frauen Bundesliga leaders a glimmer of hope by becoming the first player to beat Sarah Bouhaddi in this season's competition on 89 minutes. Abily was frustrated to have conceded late on, saying: "We are annoyed because we knew they would pose a threat from set pieces, but we let our guard drop right at the end."
Lair shared his playmaker's grievances, describing Schmidt's goal as "avoidable", although the coach would not let it take the shine off a fine team performance. "People always talk about the power of German teams, but tonight it was about French power," Lair said. "We have a very solid defensive base and pace in attack; we hope this combination will take us a long way. It was important to get our noses in front early on. We did that, then after dropping off a bit for the last 20 minutes of the first half, we took the game to them again in the second half and finished off the job."
Meanwhile, Turbine captain Jennifer Zietz struggled to hide her disappointment, conceding that the two-time winners have left themselves with a "huge task" in the return leg. "We knew it would be tough against Lyon and we weren't helped by the wet conditions," the 28-year-old midfielder told UEFA.com. "Every time we tried to get our passing game going, the ball got stuck in the water. We are all sad and we will be sad tomorrow too. But this tie is played over two legs and it's good we got that goal at the end. We still have a small chance."
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