Shanice van de Sanden’s Olympique Lyon has won the UEFA Women’s Champions League for the fifth time in a row. Dominique Janssen’s VfL Wolfsburg was defeated in the final.
Since the founding of the UEFA Women’s Champions League in the 2001/02 season, Olympique Lyon has won the tournament no less than six times. Among those six final victories were the last four editions.
Van de Sanden’s team, which had to start on the bench, was therefore able to win the tournament for the fifth time in a row.
That had to happen against Dominique Janssen’s VfL Wolfsburg, which won the tournament in 2013 and 2014. It was therefore not really a surprise that the final was between these two teams.
Of the ten previous finals, it happened only once (in the 2014/15 season) that neither of these two teams was in the final battle of the UEFA Women’s Champions League.
All other times, either Olympique Lyon or VfL Wolfsburg was in the final battle.
On Sunday it was up to Janssen and his associates to keep Olympique Lyon from ‘five in a row’.
However, the start was for the French formation in the Reale Seguros Stadium, the stadium of Real Sociedad.
Olympique Lyon was the better team and immediately put the Germans under pressure. That pressure eventually also resulted in a comfortable rest position.
With goals from Eugénie Le Sommer and Saki Kumagai, the French led 0-2 at half time. Janssen did not look good with that second goal.
The Oranje Leeuwin was easily played by Delphine Cascarino, whose cross ended up at Kumagai’s feet via a few other players.
The decision of the Champions League final therefore seemed to be decided after 45 minutes, but VfL Wolfsburg did not give up.
Alexandra Popp brought the tension back with a striking header in the 58th minute, giving the German formation more than half an hour to force the equalizer.
It did not work. After Van de Sanden came in, it was Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir who put her old team on the rack for good.
She made it 1-3 two minutes before the end and thus ensured that Lyon is the best in Europe for the fifth time in a row. For Van de Sanden it is the third time that she has won the Champions League.
At VfL Wolfsburg, it was probably the last game for captain Pernille Harder. The Danish is on his way to Chelsea for an amount of 350,000 euros: a record in women’s football.
Unfortunately for Harder, she did not get the desired goodbye. Olympique Lyon is once again the strongest in Europe.