There were euphoric cheers from the Olympique Lyonnais dressing room after the UEFA Women's Champions League holders triumphed 6-1 at last-four rivals FCF Juvisy Essonne to clinch a place in next month's Stamford Bridge final against VfL Wolfsburg.
Two-goal Lotta Schelin is relishing the return to London, where Patrice Lair's side won their maiden European title in 2011, while fellow forward Élodie Thomis is happy to be going at all after missing last year's showpiece through suspension. Beaten Juvisy were left to draw positives from their excellent run, meanwhile, as well as Kadidiatou Diani's late strike – the first Lyon have conceded in the competition this term.
Lotta Schelin, Lyon forward
We scored really early in the game and that helped us a lot. Afterwards, we could take care of the ball and keep it rolling and we scored a lot of goals because they had to score some. They didn't really succeed with that and we succeeded in doing what we wanted to do.
[Reaching the final] has been our goal for the whole season, but of course to be there and to play at Stamford Bridge is amazing. We're going to go there to win and do everything we can to bring the title home to Lyon again. It means a lot [to play at Stamford Bridge] – first of all because the final will be in a really great arena, but when we played at Craven Cottage that was amazing too. Of course, you watch Chelsea when they play on television, so it's going to be amazing to get to play there.
I don't know much about Wolfsburg, but they're a German team; they always play well physically. They seem to have played really well in the Champions League and the league, and if you do that in Germany you're always a good team. We'll have to look out for them. In the last few years, the results have gone well for us [against German clubs], but at the same time everything can happen and it is just one game, so we have to take it seriously.
Élodie Thomis, Lyon forward
We're very happy to have reached our fourth Champions League final. It's a huge competition and we've had our hearts set on going all the way.
I was frustrated to get a yellow card in the first leg and it made me think of last year. It's very painful to miss a Champions League final, but we were able to control the second leg and that allowed me to stay relaxed, focus on my game and avoid getting another yellow. I went off at half-time with Sonia [Bompastor] to make sure we wouldn't be suspended and we're happy not to have any players out for the final.
German teams are always physical and well organised. But we've been in the final for the last three years, against German teams. We're expecting a very physical and difficult game. They have strong individuals, international players, so it should be a fantastic final. You live for moments like that. When you play football at this level, these are the major goals.
Megan Rapinoe, Lyon midfielder
It's always great to score and I don't score that many goals, so I'm always excited when I get one. The game tailed off at the end a little bit, but it was a good team effort and we were all focused on getting to London.
Janice Cayman, Juvisy forward
It was a hard game from the beginning and it was always going to be tough to win it. I think we conceded the goals a little easily, but they played very well. When you're looking for that first goal and then it goes against you, it's hard mentally to come back from that, but we tried to keep on playing the whole time. They scored six goals, but we got one too, so that's a good thing for us to remember from this game. It was great play from Julie [Machart] and Kadi finished it well.
We're very proud of ourselves because it's the first time we reached the semi-finals. When you play a sport, you want to get to the final, but we're satisfied. It will be hard [to qualify for next year's competition], but if we win all our games and PSG drop some points, it will be possible.
Anaïg Butel, Juvisy defender
They're the best team in Europe, so it was never going to be easy. We played to win, but we conceded an early goal and that made life difficult for us. We believed in our chances after the first leg, but unfortunately it didn't work out. The Lyon players are professionals, whereas we all have jobs as well. It's not easy to train in the evening and that plays a role.
We'll improve, but the one positive is that we managed to score the goal we'd hoped to. It's been a good learning experience and now we have to keep working, knowing that there's a lot to do. We're disappointed, but we have to lift our heads up.
Sandrine Mathivet, Juvisy coach
It's tough. We wanted to get to half-time with a 1-0 lead and everything to play for, but it wasn't to be. We tried, though, and we saved face at the end. And it was good that a young player, Kadi, scored our goal – that's promising for the future.
You can't say that our performance this year was bad either. To reach the semi-finals is very good, but we're disappointed not to have gone through. We need to digest this result and take a step back, and then we'll be able to say that we did well. Our run has brought us experience in terms of how to play high-level games and how to approach them and prepare for them. It's also left us with questions and we'll have to find the answers.
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