It may have been a different format but the result was a familiar one as Lyon lifted their fifth consecutive Women’s Champions League crown after beating Wolfsburg 3-1 at the Anoeta Stadium in San Sebastian, writes Martin Whiteley.
Goals from Eugenie Le Sommer and Saki Kumagai put the French side in control over their old foe at half-time before Alexandra Popp’s header gave the Bundesliga champions hope. But Sara Bjork Gunnarsdottir came back to haunt her former club when she sealed a late third for Lyon to clinch a record seventh title in total.
Currently regarded as the two best women’s club sides in Europe, this was the fourth time in the last eight years that Lyon and Wolfsburg had faced off against each other with European supremacy on the line.
The German club had come out on top in 2013 but it was the French side that had triumphed on the last two occasions, although this time they would have to overcome the absences of injured all-time top scorer Ada Hegerberg and England striker Nikita Parris through suspension.
That meant only Lucy Bronze of their English contingent started for Lyon in what was her last appearance for the club. Alex Greenwood and Jodie Taylor both started on the bench before making an appearance late on.
Squad strength is a major factor in Lyon’s dominance over recent years and that proved true once again, with Parris’ replacement Le Sommer scoring the opener on the 25th minute. On the stroke of half-time, the lead was doubled by Kumagai.
But Lyon were never going to have it all their own way against a Wolfsburg side that secured their final spot with a mixture of attacking prowess – showcased to devastating effect in the 9-1 thrashing of Scottish champions Glasgow City – and defensive stability.
Domestically they are also used to success and that comes from a never-say-die attitude, so there was no surprise when the German side halved the deficit as Popp headed home just short of the hour-mark.
Gunnarsdottir had played for Wolfsburg earlier in the competition before joining the ranks of the French champions and, in the 88th minute, it was the Iceland midfielder who flicked the ball into the net to seal yet another win for Lyon.
You can follow Martin on Twitter @673martin