San Sebastian (dpa) – The “unbeatable” danced and shouted their joy in the night sky of San Sebastian, the “eternal” second players, on the other hand, were disappointed on the lawn and shed tears.
After 2016 and 2018, VfL Wolfsburg failed again in the women’s Champions League final in Olympique Lyon and has to wait for the third victory in the premier class. Blatant defensive errors ruined the dream of the second triple after 2013 at 1: 3 (0: 2) on Sunday-evening.
The French celebrated their fifth Champions League title in a row and their seventh overall with goals from Eugenie Le Sommer (25th), Saki Kumagai (44th) and Sara Bjork Gunnarsdottir (88th). The team of trainer Stephan Lerch, who was disappointing in the first 45 minutes, only came through Alexandra Popp (57th) to the interim connection goal.
“I am proud of the way the team came back in the second half, but also very disappointed with the defeat,” said Lerch. A few percent would have been missed in defense, especially in goals, the coach said. Goalscorer Popp was disappointed with the first half: “We again failed to push through our game for 90 minutes. That was decisive.”
After winning the semi-final against Barcelona (1-0), coach Lerch had changed the wobbly defense. With Lena Goessling and Anna Bläser, two experienced players returned to the starting line-up, Kathrin Hendrich and Joelle Wedemeyer had to give way.
But security didn’t bring that back to the VfL game. From the outset, the “wolves” left the game for Olympique and, even before their own penalty area, interfered with the combination-safe and technically skilled French women relatively late. They accepted the invitation.
If the first chances came from set pieces in which the 1.87 meter tall Wendie Renard played her main power, the two goals came after combinations. At 0: 1 Sara Doorsoun and Goessling, who were later injured, were asleep and fired Le Sommer on the second attempt. For the 0: 2 Dominique Janssen let himself dance on the baseline, the defense did not bring the ball out of the danger zone and Kumagai hit from 23 meters with a nice left-footed shot.
Initially, VfL rarely played an offensive game. Against Barcelona, Pernille Harder, who was voted German Footballer of the Year on Sunday and associated with Chelsea FC, was completely canceled and the balls were lost in midfield. The interaction was subject to misunderstandings and technical shortcomings. There were therefore no opportunities, even though Lyon had withdrawn after the lead and VfL was optically better.
After the break, VfL inevitably had to be more aggressive. Lyon was disturbed early on and, just like in the quarter-finals against Bayern Munich (2-1), revealed some problems. With the first real chance in play, VfL came through when Popp headlined a file from Ewa Pajor.
After that, however, Olympique switched back to attacking mode. As in the first half, VfL started very early, so that the problems in the build-up game were immediately visible again. The inclusion of Pia-Sophie Wolter, Lena Oberdorf and the former Lyon player Pauline Bremer hardly brought more creativity. That would have been necessary to put decisive pressure on the cup-defender’s defense and make mistakes. Shortly before time, the former Wolfsburg Gunnarsdottir made everything clear.