Women’s Champions League: battered, Olympique Lyonnais wins against PSG (1-0) in the first leg

Delphine Cascarino facing Ashley Lawrence
Long dominated, the players of Olympique Lyonnais won in the quarter-final first leg of the Champions League against PSG on Wednesday, March 24. After letting the storm pass in the first period, the Lyonnaises finally found the key thanks to a penalty converted by captain Wendie Renard, to finally win 1-0 at the Parc des Princes.

Olympique Lyonnais will have suffered this Wednesday March 24 against Paris-Saint-Germain but it will have saved the essential, victory. Deprived of the eighth-final second leg against Prague last week because of Covid-19 cases within it, the Parisians started the meeting like starved to death at the Parc des Princes. They then drew physically and sank on an involuntary hand at the edge of the penalty area, to let the five-time title holders win by the smallest gap.

The Parisiennes did not hang around to manhandle the queens of the competition. From the first minute, Kadidiatou Diani could have opened the scoring with a tumble on the right side and a strike in the small net of Sarah Bouhaddi. But the PSG players had lit the fuse against Lyonnaises in great difficulty against the opposing pressing. “We lose too many balloons girls!” Could we expect the voice of Wendie Renard in the first period, in a Parc des Princes which sounded very hollow.

If the players of Olivier Echouafni did not take the water, it is because Sarah Bouhaddi acted as an unsinkable dam. Facing Kadidiatou Diani, Marie-Antoinette Katoto or Ramona Bachmann, the Lyon goalkeeper was imperial on the four clear chances of PSG in the first period, and throughout the meeting. The Parisiennes then let their chances slip away. The game was then balanced and Sarah Bouhaddi was hardly worried anymore.

The players of Paris-Saint-Germain paid their two weeks without competitions and deprived of several training sessions. They drew on the image of Marie-Antoinette Katoto much less sharp or even Kadidiatou Diani out on a calf injury. Despite everything, OL got away with a game-play, thanks to a penalty obtained after a hand from veteran Formiga (43), and transformed by defender-scorer Wendie Renard, author of his 11th goal this season .

“In the first half we could not impose our game. In the second we found a second wind”, Amandine Henry was well aware of Lyon’s difficulties at the end of this quarter-final first leg. But by ensuring the essential away, inflicting in passing its first defeat of the season against PSG, Olympique Lyonnais took a good advantage in view of the return match, Wednesday March 31.

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