Lyon beat Potsdam to win women’s Champions League
Wendie Renard and Lara Dickenmann struck either side of the break as Lyon avenged last year's defeat
If the first Champions League final in London this week is anything to go by, Saturday’s Wembley showpiece will not disappoint.
As Manchester United travelled down to London ahead of their showdown with Barcelona in the capital, Lyon were crowned champions of the female equivalent – and it was a captivating advertisement for the women’s game.
A pulsating and hard-fought encounter, this clash in Fulham was a worthy appetiser ahead of the main event in two days’ time.
Wendie Renard and Lara Dickenmann struck either side of the break as Lyon avenged their defeat by Potsdam in last year’s final with a 2-0 victory at a wind-swept Craven Cottage.
Potsdam -who triumphed on penalties last year -started brightly, but it was their French opponents who took the lead against the run of play when Renard bundled home Sonia Bompastor’s corner from close range.
Player of the match: Camille Abily collects her award after the game
The German side continued to press until the break and beyond as they carved out a host of glorious chances, but ultimately failed to test Sarah Bouhaddi in the Lyon goal.
With five minutes left Dickenmann put the week’s first final beyond doubt when she effortlessly controlled the ball before blasting a brilliant left-footed effort past Sarholz and into the top corner.
The final whistle followed moments later, sparking wild celebrations as Patrice Lair’s side revelled in the French club’s first taste of European glory.
Uefa president Michel Platini was in west London to practice his trophy handover routine for Wembley, the former Juventus midfielder looking understandably delighted to be handing the first silverware of the week to a club from his homeland.
Lyon’s Lara Dickenmann said:
“We have worked all year long for this moment. It was very difficult, there was a lot of pressure as well from the coach, the club and from myself.
“Now it’s a great relief, a lot of joy, we are very happy to have finally managed to win this Champions League. Now we are very, very happy.”
Lyon’s Wendie Renard said:
“This game was incredible. The coach demanded a lot from us. He asked us to start the game very strongly, and to score as fast as we could – and apart from that he told us to be patient.
“I think we were patient tonight. Everyone gave their best on the pitch, and we really deserve the win.”