Lyon crowned European queens again
Lyon retained their UEFA Women's Champions League title with a 2-0 victory over Frankfurt at the Olympic Stadium in Munich.
The French club took the lead through a 15th-minute Eugenie Le Sommer penalty, with player-of-the-match Camille Abily grabbing the second in the 28th minute, in front of a record 50,212 crowd for a women's club match.
Lyon are now one title away from matching Frankfurt, the German outfit having won the European Cup on three previous occasions in 2002, 2006, and 2008.
They have also become the first club since Umea to win back-to-back European crowns with the Swedish club achieving the feat in 2003 and 2004.
The victory was the second part of a potential treble with Patrice Lair’s side winning the French Women’s Cup last weekend. They are currently three points off first in their domestic league, although they have a match in hand on leaders Juvisy, and possess a vastly superior goal difference.
Conversely, Frankfurt not only lost their domestic cup final last weekend, but are currently fourth in the Frauen Bundesliga, meaning that qualification for next year’s UEFA Women’s Champions League is unlikely.
Buoyed by the massive crowd in the Olympic Stadium, scene of the 1974 FIFA World Cup™ final, Frankfurt started brightly pressing their opponents and forcing a succession of corners.
However, the momentum shifted sharply on the quarter hour mark as Costa Rican Shirley Cruz Trana was brought down by Melanie Behringer. Le Sommer, who is scoring at a rate of almost one per match since joining the club two years ago, coolly converted the penalty.
Frankfurt goalkeeper Desiree Schumann then denied Wendie Renaud with a fine flick onto the post.
However, Lyon soon doubled their advantage with Abily scoring with a smart looped effort after Schumann was forced off her line to clear.
Behringer had a rare sight of goal just before the interval, but the second half was largely one-way traffic.
Abily had the best of a succession of chances hitting a free-kick against the crossbar.
The win saw the two goalscorers – Le Sommer and Abily - share the honour of being the 2011/12 UEFA Women's Champions League top scorer after both claimed their ninth goal of the campaign.
“The start of the match was quite tough,” said a jubilant Lair. “Frankfurt tried to come back at us after we took the lead, but we scored the second goal quite quickly. We tried to get a third goal that would have made the win safe, and we had a few chances to do that but couldn’t take them, but the turning point was the great chance that Frankfurt had just before half-time.
"It's always special for French clubs to win in Germany, the strongest country in terms of women's football in Europe.
“I think I surprised the girls before the game as I did something I never do: I kissed every one of them. It was to show that I was behind them. And it's true that I love them for the moments of pure joy they have given me for two years.”
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