💫 Chelsea knock UWCL holders Lyon out on pens; Wolfsburg edge past PSG | OneFootball

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Richard Buxton·30 March 2023

💫 Chelsea knock UWCL holders Lyon out on pens; Wolfsburg edge past PSG

Article image:💫 Chelsea knock UWCL holders Lyon out on pens; Wolfsburg edge past PSG

The Women’s Champions League semi-finals were confirmed as the last two teams booked their places on Thursday.

Here’s what went down.

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Lyon’s UWCL defence goes down to penalties

Scorers: Gilles 77′, Däbritz 110′, Mjelde (PEN) 120+6′

Chelsea ended Lyon’s defence of their Women’s Champions League title in a penalty shoot-out.

The reigning holders named the tournament’s top scorer Ada Hegerberg on their substitutes’ bench while Millie Bright was unable to shake a knee injury from the first leg for Emma Hayes’s side.

Delphine Cascarino stung Ann-Katrin Berger’s palms early on before a scuffed Magdalena Eriksson clearance gifted a chance to Signe Bruun, who fired over from 15 yards out.

The Blues gradually felt their way into the game and almost extended their advantage when Lauren James set Sam Kerr away on the counterattack but was thwarted by an onrushing Christiane Endler.

Lyon’s goalkeeper proved the busier as the first half’s midway stage approached at Stamford Bridge by again coming off her line to have the beating of Kerr for a second time.

She produced a brilliant one-handed stop to tip James’s effort from a narrow angle over the crossbar in the pulsating end-to-end encounter.

Kerr turned provider just minutes later as she pinged a ball to Melanie Leupolz on the edge of the area before the midfielder sent an effort whistling narrowly off-target.

Another attempt from distance, this time by Lyon’s Lindsey Horan, saw the visitors continue to step up their early momentum.

Hegerberg’s introduction at the interval failed to deliver an instant impact as Guro Reiten forced a stop from Endler within minutes of the restart.

The Lyon striker was almost in the right position to capitalise on Cascarino’s cross at the byline to the far post but Kadeisha Buchanan snuffed out the danger.

But the visitors finally delivered a breakthrough in the final 15 minutes of normal time as Vanessa Gilles squeezed a shot past Berger at her near post from Horan’s cross.

As extra-time beckoned, Chelsea had to defend resolutely to stop the European champions from snatching a crucial second.

Lyon continued to push at the start of the extended 30 minutes as Horan flashed a shot narrowly wide of goal before Bacha fired an effort off target after a corner was headed clear.

Midway through the second half of extra-time, Sara Däbritz drilled low past Berger to send Sonia Bompastor’s side on the cusp of a meeting with Barcelona.

But Chelsea were given a lifeline in the final seconds of added time after James was fouled in the penalty area, which was controversially sent to a VAR review before Maren Mjelde stepped up and equalised.

In the shootout, Mjelde, Kerr and Jessie Fleming all converted while Lyon saw Dzsenifer Marozsán, Hegerberg and Däbritz follow suit, but both goalkeepers saved successive efforts from James and Wendie Renard respectively.

Berger sent Hayes’s side through to a rematch of the 2021 final against Barcelona by guessing correctly to save Horan’s kick on a drama-filled night at the Bridge.

Wolfsburg seal consecutive last-four appearances

Scorers: Popp 20′, Diani 30′

Wolfsburg sealed consecutive UWCL semi-final appearances with a 2-1 aggregate win over Paris Saint-Germain.

Tommy Stroot’s side held a one-goal lead from the first leg as their visitors aimed to reach the penultimate stage for a fourth time in five seasons.

Les Parisiennes enjoyed the better opening at the AOK Stadion as Laurina Fazer spurned an early chance to level the tie with a weak finish from a Lieke Martens knockdown.

Kadidiatou Diani appeared to have cancelled out their deficit on 11 minutes but her strike was ruled out for offside by VAR.

But Alexandra Popp made their uphill task even greater with a 20th-minute thunderbolt from Felicitas Rauch’s lay-off to give Wolfsburg a two-goal cushion.

Diani restored hope for PSG in meeting Sakina Karchaoui’s cross from the left-hand side with a smart header to half the deficit.

However their leading scorer left the pitch in tears at half-time after suffering a suspected shoulder injury.

An evenly-match contest continued in a similar vein at the start of the season half when Kheira Hamraoui forced a good save from Merle Frohms.

Wolfsburg’s best opening to build on their lead fell to Popp, who failed to convert from point-blank range as her shot crashed back off the post.

Bouhaddi had to be more alert when denying Jill Roord in a one-v-one situation after she was sent clear by Popp before later denying Sveindís Jónsdóttir.

The eight-time European champion later had to rely on captain Grace Geyoro to clear Popp’s header at a corner off the goal line.

Wolsburg continued to pile on the pressure in the open-ended affair and hit the woodwork again as Lena Oberdorf found the crossbar from Svenja Huth’s corner.

PSG were left to rue a golden opportunity when Amalie Vangsgaard picked out Sakina Karchaoui on the edge of the penalty area but fluffed her lines and skied the shot.

Geyoro came to the aid of Gérard Prêcheur’s side again in the closing minutes of the tie to clear Popp’s low delivery as they failed to complete a fairy tale comeback.

Wolfsburg will take on Arsenal, who overcame Bayern Munich, in their final-four showdown.