UEFA Women’s Champions League Final – Olympique Lyonnais (7) 0-0 (6) Paris Saint-Germain: Penalties settle tie

UEFA Women’s Champions League Final – Olympique Lyonnais (7) 0-0 (6) Paris Saint-Germain: Penalties settle tie

Lyon victorious after shoot-out

Sophie Lawson

After two long hours there was nothing to separate the pair in the Champions League final in Cardiff, the tie decided from the spot. PSG forced to sucumb in the same fashion to Lyon as they had in the Coupe de France final.

PSG look to set the pace

In a mirror of how they started the Coupe de France final, Paris were the team to bring the fight to the D1F champions, a neat run behind Wendie Renard saw Marie-Laure Delie millimetres away from getting to the ball before Sarah Bouhaddi. The half-chance inside of the first minute, a warning that the Parisiens had had more than enough of Lyon besting them in recent weeks. Their next chance came minutes later when Shirley Cruz drew a foul from Camille Abily, Eve Perisset’s delivery good enough to have both sides scrapping for the ball before OL brought it clear.

The traffic was, however, not all one-way, the current holders using a rotating front-three to cause as much damage as possible, a couple of early chances a little lacking though they came closer as the seconds ticked by. A dangerous ball in saw an almighty scrap just after the ten minute mark with Grace Geyoro more falling on the ball than clearing it, Katarzyna Kiedrzynek’s goal precariously unguarded as both side wanted the ball three yards out. A clash moments later saw the Polish ‘keeper pick the ball out of the air before going down with a knock, though she was fine to continue after a quick spell of treatment that allowed her side to reshape.

Lyon temporarily went down to ten after Alex Morgan pulled up with what looked to be a resurgence of the muscular problem that kept her out of the CdF final, Elodie Thomis could only warm up so fast. Aside from a Cristiane drive from range, Lyon weren’t punished for their numerical disadvantage, the side from the south seeing more and more of the ball.

PSG continue to create

A deep ball over the top from Irene Paredes found Delie on the sprint as she tried to slip past Renard, the rangy centre-back taking a big chance as she went to ground on the edge of the box, wrapping her body around to nick the ball clear. Half away, Delie picked the ball back up and lashed a curler towards Bouhaddi’s top corner, the reverse side on the ball forcing it to crest away from post and behind.

Arguably Lyon’s brightest spark, Amel Majri continued to drive her team forwards and saw the next chance during a lull just after the hour, riding her luck as she slipped around the defence. An attempted clearance had the ball ping right back to her as she continued to skip around, her eventual low shot held by Kiedrzynek. PSG responded in kind, Cruz the beneficiary of a flick on as the Costa Rican international wiggled in the box to get her shot away, Bouhaddi’s outstretched glove enough to keep the sides deadlocked.

Frustrating each other in midfield, Cristiane did well to win a free kick off of Renard to Perisset to deliver once again, her ball from range well attacked by Formiga, the Brazilian able to rise well and head towards the near post. However, with time on her side, Bouhaddi was there once more to thwart the best efforts of the Parisiens.

Hegerberg goes close

In a reverse situation seconds later, it was Ada Hegerberg who was getting her head on the ball in the box at a set-piece, Kiedrzynek far less comfortable than her opposite number but still able to get down smartly and save. Tireless work from Cruz saw her get the ball forward and find a lay-off to Ashley Lawrence, the wing-back sending the ball low at the first time of asking, Delie left it by the near post for Cristiane who could only sky her shot.

A succession of set-pieces at the start of the second-half saw Lyon come close at each dead-ball situation from PSG surviving an almost own-goal to Kiedrzynek saving a certain goal from Hegerberg, the follow up blazed wide. Having started the half with a real fervour, a smart block in the six-yard block was all that kept Eugénie Le Sommer’s low whip away from a teammate.

Lyon hunt for an opener

Still knocking at the door, Thomis was next to come close for Les Lyonnais, her lob over the ‘keeper, agonisingly close to crossing the goal-line before it bounced clear. A breathless run from Dzsenifer Marozsán saw the creative player dash through midfield, cutting around blue shirts before finding room outside the box to get her shot away, the ball delivered straight into Kiedrzynek’s arms.

It wasn’t until after the hour that PSG had another good sight of goal, a quick ball gifted Cruz the chance to play in Delie, the attacker sharp to the ball in the box, her low shot enough to beat Bouhaddi as it trickled a hair wide.

The second-half whizzed by at the same speed as the first, the two still deadlocked though it was all Lyon, every chance charged down, blocked or just put wide, PSG riding their luck. 

The game slowed significantly as Paris tried to hold out for extra time, a number of time-consuming injuries enough to warrant a long six minutes of stoppage time, Lyon had done everything but score. The 90 minutes that had rushed passed seemed a distant memory as the six minutes ticked down, PSG creating their own half-chances – when not being overrun by the holders.

Extra time

After ninety long minutes in Cardiff the French pair couldn’t be wrenched apart and extra time was soon underway, tired legs asked to run for another thirty minutes. There was a reticence from both as the first quarter of an hour got underway before both fell back into stride, PSG first to attack. A poor corner was the best the Parisiens could muster before Lyon got numbers forward again. Kiedrzynek continued to be tested and worked, her gloves the safe haven for the ball from first Majri’s, then Marozsán’s long-range efforts. 

The extra time wasn’t without drama however as Lyon looked to have a strong penalty shout waved away after Thomis was felled in the area, Bibiana Steinhaus unmoved though it looked like the French international had her legs taken from under her.

After Marozsan had gone on a jinking run on the edge of the area before whipping her curler over the bar, PSG again had a good half-chance, an outswung free-kick recycled and sent low at Bouhaddi. The first fifteen minutes slipped by, still neither could find an advantage on the scores. 

The second period of extra time spoke to the exhausted nature of the two teams, PSG looking suspect at the back as Lyon’s fresher legs found spaces, blue shirts standing up to do just about enough in the six-yard box. A late and clumsy challenge from Perle Morroni saw another chance for OL, the ball in a dangerous one, again the defence just about able to clear the ball before it could do any damage. A late, late chance for Majri from a dead-ball saw the attacker slice her free kick just wide with the last kick of the game.

Penalties to decide winner

Cristiane stepped up first to slot the first penalty into the left side of the goal, Bouhaddi sent the wrong way from the spot. (1-0)

Majri made it 1-1 with a clinical shot from 12-yard that had Kiedrzynek beaten despite going the right way.

In her last game for her only club, Sabrina Delannoy made her final touch count, hammering the ball into the bottom right corner (2-1).

Aiming high, Le Sommer faced the long walk back after watching the tall Pole push her penalty against the bar (2-1).

The advantage didn’t last long however as Grace Geyoro saw her weak shot cleared by Bouhaddi (2-1).

With a stutter in her step, Renard sent the ‘keeper the wrong way before firing the ball into the bottom left, the pair square again (2-2).

Bouhaddi left rooted as Delie tucked the ball into the bottom right corner to re-establish an advantage (3-2).

M’bock Bathy able to follow in Renard’s footsteps and send Kiedrzynek the wrong way as she burred the ball (3-3).

One of the hardest working on the pitch for PSG in Cardiff, Formiga made no mistake from 12-yards to find the bottom left corner (4-3).

Just like last time out against the same opposition, Saki Kumagai left the net ripping from the spot, KK sent the wrong way again (4-4).

Veronica Boquete couldn’t stop Bouhaddi from following her spot kick but couldn’t keep the ball out either as it clinically found the bottom corner (5-4).

Not perfect by any means but that didn’t stop Marozsan from finding the back of the net to keep Lyon alive (5-5).

Lawrence’s spot kick a hammer towards the top corner, the penalties seemingly endless (6-5).

Abily reliable as ever for Lyon as she made it 6-6.

Kiedryznek who’d done so much for her side all night unable to convert from 12-yards, her shot wide (6-6).

After one ‘keeper it was only good practice to have the other, Bouhaddi clinical in a way her opposite number hadn’t been, the net left to shudder as Lyon wheeled away in celebration, the UWCL trophy still theirs (6-7).