There will be all to play for at the Parc des Princes next Saturday after Lyon beat Paris Saint-Germain 3-2 in their UEFA Women’s Champions League semi-final opener.
Marie-Antoinette Katoto stunned the OL Stadium crowd with her early goal, but Wendie Renard’s penalty on her record-breaking 100th competition appearance, plus a double from Catarina Macario, put Lyon in control before Paulina Dudek pulled one back from the penalty spot.
Match in brief: French rivals serve up thriller
Lyon carved out several early chances, but it was Paris who went ahead from their very first effort as Katoto spun smartly inside the penalty area to fire the visitors in front. However, midway through the first half, Paris goalkeeper Barbora Votíková brought down Melvine Malard and Renard converted the subsequent spot kick.
Just past the half-hour, Ada Hegerberg’s incisive pass set up Macario to put Lyon ahead – and not long after the interval she scored again, pouncing on a defensive mix-up. Paris were nonetheless given hope when Malard handled the ball and Dudek scored from the spot, boosting their chances of overturning a deficit to knock Lyon out, just as in last season’s quarter-finals.
Visa Player of the Match: Catarina Macario (Lyon)
“For the two goals and her role as playmaker. Macario significantly influenced Lyon’s display, pressing very high and creating many difficulties for the Paris defence. Not only did she score the second and third goals, but at the end of the match she was again working hard in defence. Omnipresent.”
UEFA Technical Observer panel
Vanessa Tomaszewski, Lyon reporter
After the shock of trailing early on, the hosts capitalised on some uncertain defending and came back into the game through captain Renard’s penalty, which raised their confidence before Macario’s double and Dudek’s consolation. The return game is going to be extremely intriguing at the Parc des Princes.
Ian Holyman, Paris reporter
This was a frustrating but promising performance. The tie could have got away from Paris, but Dudek’s penalty has given them real cause for optimism ahead of the second leg at the Parc des Princes, where they’ll have the benefit of partisan backing. Defensively, Didier Ollé-Nicolle will be looking for his team to tighten up, but they were more solid in the closing half-hour. Going forward, they troubled Lyon throughout – and Katoto might even have got a late equaliser.
Sonia Bompastor, Lyon coach: “We would have liked to have kept the two-goal advantage. We still savour the victory, even if we will have to learn the lessons of this match for the return. We lacked balance. We have a week to recover and be ready.”
Catarina Macario, Visa Player of the Match: “A lot of people could have received this award. I am very grateful but am just happy to have got the win. It was a very good match – difficult. We showed our collective strength. I’m happy to have helped the team by scoring two goals. It won’t be easy in the second leg.”
Eugénie Le Sommer, Lyon forward: “We know it’s only half-time. We’ll give ourselves the means to go and win in Paris. It was important to win this first leg. We’re happy. We thank the supporters for coming in large numbers.”
- Wendie Renard became the first player to reach 100 UEFA women’s club competition appearances (all for Lyon).
- Renard’s goal was her 31st in Europe, putting the centre-back up to joint-15th in the all-time goal charts.
- United States international Macario has scored in her last eight games for club and country.
- Le Sommer made her 79th competition appearance and Bachmann her 78th, putting them fourth and fifth all time behind Renard, Alex Popp and Camille Abily.
- Lyon are the first team to play in 12 semi-finals.
- This is the sixth tie between Lyon and Paris in this competition, equalling the record of Lyon-Wolfsburg. The second leg will mean they equal the record of ten individual matches, set earlier this season by Chelsea-Wolfsburg.
- The crowd of 22,774 was the eighth biggest all time in the competition, and the fifth largest outside finals. Of those five, four have come this season and two in this weekend’s semi-final first legs).
Lyon: Endler; Carpenter, Buchanan, Renard, Bacha (Morroni 66); Henry, Macario, Horan; D Cascarino (Laurent 90+2), Hegerberg, Malard (Le Sommer 66)
Paris: Votíková; Lawrence (De Almeida 86), Ilestedt, Dudek, Karchaoui; Fazer (Folquet 79), Geyoro, Däbritz; Diani, Katoto, Baltimore (Bachmann 77)
The second leg will be played at the Parc des Princes on Saturday. The winners will face Wolfsburg or Barcelona in the final at Juventus Stadium in Turin on 21 May.