Lyon ease past Paris to final date with Wolfsburg

Paris Saint-Germain 0-1 Lyon (agg: 0-8) Lotta Schelin struck just before half-time as Lyon eased through to a rematch of their 2013 final defeat by Wolfsburg.

Lotta Schelin celebrates after making it 1-0 in Paris
Lotta Schelin celebrates after making it 1-0 in Paris ©Sportsfile
  • Lyon set up rematch of 2013 final against Wolfsburg with 1-0 victory in Paris
  • Lotta Schelin scores only goal on 44 minutes to seal 8-0 aggregate win
  • Schelin sets new record with an unprecedented 41st European goal for a single club
  • Final: Wolfsburg v Lyon, 18.00CET, 26 May, Stadio Città del Tricolore, Reggio Emilia

Two-time winners Lyon will meet Wolfsburg in a repeat of the 2013 UEFA Women's Champions League final after finishing off last-four rivals Paris Saint-Germain with a 1-0 win.

Although there was little suspense at the Parc des Princes following Lyon's remarkable 7-0 first-leg victory leg, both teams set out keen to prove a point in their ongoing local rivalry. That made for an engaging spectacle in the early stages, with Paris eager to draw a line under that performance and restore a little pride.

It was Lyon, though, who soon began to edge the encounter, and Gérard Precheur's players found Lotta Schelin with dangerous regularity in the first half. Twice Ann-Katrin Berger denied the Sweden forward in threatening positions, but the Paris goalkeeper was finally beaten close to the interval as Wendie Renard freed her colleague on the edge of the area to apply a low and composed finish.

That seemed to take the wind out of Paris's sails and they were unable to rouse themselves after the restart. Instead, Lyon retained a comfortable grip and looked the most likely to grab the next goal, with Louis Necib testing Berger from a free-kick. They can expect a sterner test from final opponents Wolfsburg in Reggio Emilia on 26 May.

Lotta Schelin celebrates
Lotta Schelin celebrates©Sportsfile

Schelin sets record
Ada Hegerberg has made the headlines this season, notching 12 goals in eight UEFA Women's Champions League games, but Lyon stalwart Lotta Schelin again proved that she remains a key performer. All-time leading scorer for Les Fenottes, the 32-year-old added her fourth strike of the campaign and 41st for Lyon in Europe – a record total for a player with a single club.

Mission accomplished for Lyon
With the outcome never in doubt, the key for Gérard Precheur was to see out this game without losing any players to injury or suspension. Lyon hope to clinch a league and cup double before their European final on 26 May, and with that in mind the coach withdrew fit-again midfielder Amandine Henry and competition top scorer Ada Hegerberg at half-time. Both are vital assets whose presence could make the difference in Reggio Emilia.

©Sportsfile

Fans do Paris proud
Despite the unforgiving first-leg scoreline, Paris enjoyed some vociferous backing from a die-hard section of the crowd at the Parc des Princes. Fears of an empty, silent stadium proved unfounded as around 3,000 locals did their best to work up an atmosphere – though they were not rewarded with a morale-boosting triumph. With Paris also out of the French Cup and trailing Lyon by three points in the league, this has been a season to forget for the ambitious capital side.

Reaction

Gérard Precheur, Lyon coach
I'm happy with our qualification and our performance. We completely controlled the second half, and Paris couldn't get forward. We were impatient to get back in the Champions League final as it's been a long time since OL were there, so we're happy for the club and the fans.

We've already started analysing Wolfsburg. They're an excellent team and they played a great game against Frankfurt. We'll carry on studying them and looking for ideas on how to make the difference.

It's good to get Amandine Henry back, and she just needs playing time. We don't want to go too quickly with her. I'd have liked to have given her more time today, but we have to listen to the medical staff. She still needs to get her rhythm back.

©Sportsfile

Griedge M'Bock Bathy, Lyon defender
It was tough at the beginning because Paris pressed us hard and tried to stop us from playing. But we took control and went ahead, which gave us a little relief. After that, we stayed on top in the second half and saw out the game. I'm delighted to be in my first final with Lyon. It's a huge emotion, but I came to Lyon for these kinds of matches.

Ada Hegerberg, Lyon forward
It was important for us to win today to show that we're the superior team. I hope we manage to win everything this season, but German teams are always tough to play against. I think we have the better team, but we need to show it. Either way, it'll be a great final for women's football.

Camille Abily, Lyon midfielder
It's been a while since we were in a final, but this will be our fifth. It's not enough to just play in them, though – you have to win them to experience the best emotions. We have a great team, but Wolfsburg have superb players as well. Anything can happen in one game. For me it's 50/50, and I hope it'll go better for us than in 2013.

©Sportsfile

I don't know if this is the best Lyon team I've played in. In 2013 we beat Juvisy 6-1 and 3-0 in the semi-finals and got some other big wins before losing to Wolfsburg. So just because you have a fantastic route to the final, it doesn't mean you'll win it.

Farid Benstiti, Paris coach
It was difficult to get everyone motivated for this game, but we managed to do it. They just needed to show this attitude in the first leg. We were solid today, but Lyon are very strong. It's a shame, but our attitude was good and that's what I'll remember. I was worried some players might be intimidated by playing at the Parc des Princes, but I saw something resembling my team today.

How do we improve? We just need to get some of Lyon's players because they're the best! We've worked hard for three or four years, so don't think it's easy to beat Lyon. Just look at how they played today. It's very tough to even get the ball off them. We need to begin a new cycle and promote young players who can progress with the club over the long term.

Jessica Houara-D'Hommeaux, Paris defender
It was a huge mistake on our part to lose the first game 7-0, so it was good to show a different side to ourselves today and play as a team. We created chances as well, and it was an honour to play at the Parc in this magnificent stadium and on this magnificent pitch – every player dreams of that.

This is the end of a cycle for us. We'll see what happens next season when a new cycle begins, and who's in the squad. Like many players here my contract is coming to an end, so we'll see what the future holds.

©Sportsfile
Top