Lyon crowned women’s champions of Europe

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In a tense final in San Sebastian, Spain, Olympique Lyonnais Féminin defeated Wolfsburg 3-1 to clinch a record fifth consecutive UEFA Women’s Champions League (UWCL) title.

Eugenie le Sommer scored the opening goal and Japan’s Saki Kumagai put Lyon 2-0 up at half-time.

Alexandra Popp pulled one back for Wolfsburg in the second half but Sara Bjork Gunnarsdottir put the final nail in the coffin with a late third goal to seal Lyon’s seventh Champions League title.

Sunday’s victory saw Lyon write their names into the history books once again as they matched a feat that has only been achieved once by Real Madrid – five European titles in a row record.

The French side is enjoying a period of complete dominance which will go down in history as one of the greatest eras not just by a women’s football team, but a team in any sport.

Key stats, courtesy of UEFA.com

  • Lyon won their seventh title and fifth in a row, extending their records.
  • Lyon’s seven wins mean that France are now just two behind Germany’s record of nine combined victories.
  • Lyon were in their ninth final and set a new record of reaching five in a row (breaking their own best set between 2010 and 2013).
  • Sarah Bouhaddi and Wendie Renard were appearing in their ninth finals (one more than men’s record holders Paco Gento and Paolo Maldini); Eugénie Le Sommer in her eighth.
  • Renard increased her record number of competition appearances to 88.

  • Le Sommer became the fifth player to reach 75 competition appearances tonight; Alex Popp was the fourth in the quarter-finals.
  • Saki Kumagai is the first Asian player to score in a final.
  • Bouhaddi, Renard, Le Sommer and Alex Popp have now played in all of the competition-record eight meetings between Wolfsburg and Lyon.
  • Goalscorer Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir joined Lyon last month from Wolfsburg, for whom she featured in their 2018 final loss to OL.
  • This season, Lyon became the first club to appear in 100 UEFA women’s club competitions games and register 80 wins.
  • With seven straight victories in 2019/20, Lyon completed only the second perfect season in the competition’s history after Umeå’s nine-win streak in 2003/04.

Lyon coach Jean-Luc Vasseur after their historic win said, “We were talking about matching records and we’ve now achieved that because Lyon are at the same historic level as Real Madrid in the 1950s and 60s.

“We had to rewrite history and that process started a few years ago and I do not think they are about to stop any time soon.”

The captain of Lyon Wendie Renard said it is hard to be a winner as you have to constantly work extremely hard. “You battle year in, year out for this trophy. We’re bringing it back – we’re bringing it back for the fans.”

While Wolfsburg coach Stephan Lerch stated that she is proud of her players’ efforts in the final.

“Congratulations to Lyon for defending their title. I am really proud of my team – they really showed spirit after being 2-0 down.

“In the second half we played with a lot of heart, pulled one back, put them under pressure and it’s a pity we couldn’t equalise and send it to extra time.”

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By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi 

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