Chelsea Women do England proud but just fail to eliminate European Champions Lyon


Chelsea 1 : 1 Lyon (aggregate 2-3)

Olympique Lyon Feminine will head to Budapest to contest the Champions League final on 18 May against Barcelona. They drew 1-1 at Kingsmeadow against Chelsea but went through having won the first leg 2-1.

Eugenie Le Sommer put Lyon ahead before So-Yun Ji equalised but the 3-2 aggregate was enough for the French champions.

Maren Mjelde created the first threat of the match with a run amid early Lyon pressure. Amandine Henry headed over in four minutes from a Dszenifer Marozsan free kick. Chelsea experimented initially with aerial passes which the tall French international Wendie Renard, one of seven France international players in the Lyon side, gobbled up with ease.

Lyon increased their aggregate lead in the 14th minute.

Ballon D’Or winner Ada Hegerberg fed Le Sommer and put Lyon 1-0 up on a breakaway, to leave Chelsea needing two goals to draw level and force extra time. Ann-Katrin Berger in the Chelsea goal will be disappointed as it was not the most powerful effort.

On the half hour, Erin Cuthbert won a free kick having been brought down by Delphine Cascarino who joined Amandine Henry in Swedish referee Sara Persson’s book.

So-Yun Ji curled home the equaliser superbly with Lyon keeper Sarah Bouhaddi also being booked for the subsequent argument.

Just before half time, Amel Majri set up a chance to give Lyon a vital second away goal but Maroszan was well marshaled by a defender and could not hit the target.

Lucy Bronze had the first effort of the second half but it was to close to Berger who pouched it well. Bronze and Maroszan both had shots blocked as Lyon came out the blocks on fire after the break.

Fran Kirby opened up the Lyon defence but Ramona Bachmann could not find the net with a superb opportunity and hit a defender. Emma Hayes made a change then introducing Jonna Anderson  for Hannah Blundell just after Bachmann’s effort.

Chelsea came agonisingly close just after the change. Karen Carney hit the post after Cuthbert became the next player to cut through Lyon’s right back area. Bachmann then left for Beth England as Hayes looked for a new formula for change.

Magdalena Ericsson was the next Chelsea hero being very alert to intercept the next Lyon cross and deny a shooting chance. Wales international Jessica Fishlock became the fourth Lyon player to be booked within minutes of coming on.

Undeterred, Chelsea continued to make chances.

Bouhaddi denied Ericsson at point blank range after a scramble in the Lyon box, and it looked as if Chelsea’s dream might come true yet. Lyon coach Reynald Pedros pulled Cascarino off, reducing the sides’s chances of a second yellow card and reducing them to ten players. Shanice van de Sanden replaced her to firm up Lyon’s underfire right back position.

Wendie Renard incurred Lyon’s fifth card for a foul on Kirby before Chelsea’s Berger tipped over a drive after a lovely move in which Bronze and Henry interchanged passes, Hegerberg delivering the final effort.

Chelsea boss Hayes took Sophie Ingle off and introduced Drew Spence as Chelsea chased the goal that would take the match to extra time. That so nearly paid dividends when the replacement had the chance of the match just failing to hit the target at the left hand post after being in the right position from another excellent Cuthbert free kick.

Five minutes of extra time were added, an announcement well received by most in the 4670 crowd. but it was Lyon’s Hegerberg who fired the only chance of the extended period over.


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