Wolfsburg have broken Olympique Lyonnais’ hold on the women’s Champions League after Martina Muller’s controversial second-half penalty gave the Germans victory and their first major trophy at Stamford Bridge, London.
Both teams opened with attacking soccer, Lyon aiming to nab a 3rd consecutive European title and Wolfsburg nipping hungrily at their heels for an upset.
Lyon played well all round; outshooting their opponents and keeping the technical play precise and entertaining. They created numerous chances, but they just couldn’t find the back of the net.
Wolfsburg were given a penalty after Lyon’s Laura Georges was penalised for a dubious handball and Muller made no mistake from the spot to put the underdogs in front.
The first half brought on an extremely physical German side while Lyon, usually composed and fluent, struggled to get their rhythm going.
It didn’t take long before the French side found their footing and they quickly started to gain momentum. Executing passes with grace, skill and precision past the German back-line, they created numerous opportunities to score and put steady pressure on Wolfsburg but their final ball just letting them down.
Wolfsburg continued to show dogged determination; with goalkeeper Alisa Vetterlein taking blows from Lyon’s Camille Abily and Amandine Henry, but not once faltering. Wolfsburg held off the attacking French team, and the score remained 0-0 as the half time whistle screamed.
U.S. star midfielder Megan Rapinoe struggled like many of her teammates to find fluidity and was limited to chances in the first half. Surprisingly Lyon’s coach Lair ended up replacing Rapinoe at halftime, and she did not look too thrilled about it on the bench and stated afterwards that she had not expected to be subbed.
“I didn’t think I should have come off, but that’s the coach’s decision,” Rapinoe said. “I haven’t always played 90 minutes, but I’ve usually played more than 45.”
The second half got underway, Wolfsburg with renewed fire and Lyon matching it with pace and creativity. The rain poured down, making already slick conditions more of a challenge.
The 0-0 score hung heavy over the stadium, until the 73rd minute brought on a penalty kick for Wolfsburg after Lyon’s Laura Georges was adjudged to have handled the ball in the area. Muller blasted the ball past Lyon goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi to put Wolfsburg in the lead 1-0.
Lyon continued to play with urgency, charging the German team with unparalleled force and put Vetterlein and her Wolfsburg defense to the test. Even the fancy footwork of Luisa Necib and the strength of Schelin couldn’t find a way through the resolute German defense. Wolfsburg could taste victory, and held off till the final whistle to snatch the coveted title.
Wolfsburg: Vetterlein, Wensing, Henning, Hartmann, Popp, Blasse, Kessler, Goessling, Muller, Jakabfi (Magull, 78), Pohlers (Omilade, 82)
Unused Subs – Deville, Bussaglia, Viguier, Bunte
Lyon: Bouhaddi, Franco, Renard, Georges, Bompastor, Henry, Necib, Abily, (Le Sommer, 67), Thomis, Schelin, Rapinoe (Dickenmann, 46, Majri, 89)
Unused Subs – Burmeister, Tietge, Chandraratne, Vetterlein
Scoring Summary: 0 1 F
LYON 0 0 0
WOLFSBURG 0 1 1
Stats Summary: Lyon / Wolfsburg
Shots: 19 / 8
Shots on Goal: 8 / 3
Saves: 2 / 8
Corner Kicks: 5 / 3
Fouls: 7 / 7
Offside: 2 / 0