On your head!
Not having expected such a spirited fight from the Norwegians last week, Lyon made sure to stamp their authority over the game from the get go, increasing their aggregated score from 5-2 to 6-2 inside of three minutes. Dzsenifer Marozsán whipped corner found a leaping Wendie Renard on the edge of the six-yard box, her deft header enough to sail across the box and settle into the top corner. Already up on the night, Lyon were determined to go for the jugular; Delphine Cascarino and Eugénie Le Sommer both had first-half goals ruled out for offside as Avaldsnes struggled to get out of their own half.
Lyon, with an embarrassment of riches, attacked as they do every game, with white shirts flowing forwards, the ball pinged from one to the next, as opposition were always over-loaded. Avaldsnes, to their credit, did all they could to withstand the pressure, utilising the offside trap and not letting the hosts have many clear-cut chances. But a rash foul from Ingrid Ryland on Amel Majri was enough to gift Lyon a chance to further their lead, Marozsán’s direct free kick was perfectly curled over the rising wall to strike the inside of the near post before rebounding across the goal-line and in.
With the game comfortably out of Avaldsnes’ reach, Gérard Prêcheur made two half-time substitutions to give two of his core players – Jessica Houara and Renard – the rest of the night off, Saki Kumagai and 21-year-old Mylaine Tarrieu were their respective replacements. The idea that Houara and Renard will start against Olympique Marseille on Saturday, more than just a suggestion.
Avaldsnes’ first shot of the game came after the break, Andreia Rosa flicked header at an Andrine Tomter skewed wide, the Toppserien runners-up, barely managing to get out of neutral and into first gear all game. Their misery was compounded as Cascarino volleyed home at the far post on the hour, her smart touch taking Caroline Seger's weighted cross past Madalyn Schiffel.
That was to be Cascarino’s last action of the tie as she was swiftly replaced by Claire Lavogez who bagged herself an assist seconds later. With the visitors doing their best to pack the final third, there was precious little room for Le Sommer but after a neat one-two with Lavogez the attacker slipped through the middle before rifling one past Schiffel.
Kent Michael Bøe responded by bringing on the young pair of Meryll Abrahamsen and Hanna Dahl for Hege Hansen and Thórunn Jónsdóttir, the match was long over and Avaldsnes like Lyon, were thinking ahead to weekend action. But even with two fresh pairs of legs on the pitch, Bøe’s side couldn’t find a way to stop the hosts from scoring and Le Sommer grabbed her second of the match with a curt header at the near post.
Even with their opposition thoroughly beaten, Lyon refused to relent and made sure Schiffel was worked to the last, the beaten visitors – although not as talented – stayed as resolute. Dahl’s 88th minute effort, their second shot of the match and the first time they’d put anything on target, Sarah Bouhaddi made the easy claim. Avaldsnes went down fighting but were always outclassed and doomed since drawing the current holders.
If there was ever any doubt, Lyon did a Lyon, letting every team in Europe know what they’re capable of once more.