It was one the premier clashes of the UEFA Women's Champions League and despite VfL Wolfsburg's efforts, it was not enough to send them through to the semi-final stage at the expense of Olympique Lyonnais.
No goals at the half despite numerous chances
Both teams had the opportunity to get themselves on the scoresheet by they were denied by the post. Alex Morgan had the game's first sighting of goal in the 13th minute when Griedge Mbock-Bathy, who was playing at right-back today, got forward and held off Isabel Kerschowski to send in a cross for the US international. Morgan's effort came off of Anna Blässe and deflected off of her to give Wolfsburg a goal kick.
Then three minutes later, Saki Kumagai surged forward from midfield and tried to find Ada Hegerberg and Eugénie Le Sommer at the second time of asking but her pass was too long for the forward. Le Sommer then had the best chance of the half then less than a minute later when Wendie Renard's flick on from a corner found her unmarked at the far post. Le Sommer aimed towards goal and started to wheel away in celebration but her shot came off the post and straight into goalkeeper Almuth Schult's grateful hands.
It had been easier for the French international to score than to miss from that range. Hegerberg then had a controversial penalty appeal turned down in the 22nd minute whens he clashed with Kerschowski in the box. After consulting with her assistants, Polish referee Monika Mularczyk awarded Wolfsburg a free-kick, much to the dismay of the home crowd and Hegerberg.
Wolfsburg then began to create chances for themselves as the half wore on. Caroline Graham-Hansen, who had been a constant threat all game long, beat Kadeisha Buchanan to the byline and tried to squeeze in her effort at the near post but Renard had placed herself in front of goal and conceded a corner.
Hansen was at it again in the 35th minute, this time beating Amel Majri with some neat footwork, and bent her shot towards the near post. She became the second player to hit the post as Lyon regrouped and cleared the rebound away. Pernille Harder was the next to test Lyon's resolve as the Dane turned Buchanan and tried to find the near corner of the goal but goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi got down well and saved the effort.
The last few minutes of the game saw Morgan beat Blässe, who she had had a running battle with all throughout the first half, but not the feet of Schult at the near post from a tight angle. Right before the half-time break, Wolfsburg managed to cause some chaos in Lyon's penalty area after a set piece but no one was able to settle the ball and get a shot away before the referee halted proceedings.
Hansen scores and Blässe sees red
The second half went the same way as the first with both teams trying to find a way to goal but this half had even less opportunities at goal. Sara Gunnarsdóttir had the first chance of the half at the 47th minute mark when a ball from Hansen picked out her late run but she was forced to shoot straight at Bouhaddi under pressure from Kumagai who had stayed with her.
Less than a minute later, Morgan had two chances to break the deadlock. Her first opportunity came after a deep cross found her at the far post but her first time volley was comfortably saved by Schult. The German goalkeeper then proceeded to kick her goal-kick straight into the back of her defender, Nilla Fischer, and the rebound fell into space for Morgan to latch onto. Instead of squaring the ball to Hegerberg or Le Sommer who were both open, Morgan elected to shoot from a narrow angle which did not trouble the goalkeeper.
The game then fell into a lull for most of the second half until in the last stretch of the match when Buchanan fouled Harder and conceded a penalty in the 82nd minute. Hansen stepped forward and sent Bouhaddi the wrong way to pull Wolfsburg within one of the current champions.
Lyon survived the aerial onslaught that Wolfsburg pushed forward with after the goal and the frustration of not finding a way past Bouhaddi told eventually as Blässe saw red in injury time after fouling Morgan near the sidelines. The right-back had put in quite a few rough challenges on Morgan all game long and the referee had decided that it was one too many fouls this time, giving the German her second yellow of the night.
Lyon will now head into the semi-finals with a potential match-up against league rivals Paris Saint-Germain on the horizon while Wolfsburg will now have to focus completely on the league to try and win it or at least finish in the European spots for next season.