Euro round-up: Champions Wolfsburg, Barcelona and Lyon end their seasons on a high
More silverware headed the way of Europe’s powerhouses this weekend as their domestic campaigns draw to a close, writes Martin Whiteley.Embed from Getty Images
After regaining the Frauen Bundesliga title from Bayern Munich, Wolfsburg completed the domestic double with 4-0 win over Turbine Potsdam in the DFB-Pokal Frauen final at the RheinEnergieStadion, Cologne on Saturday.
Ewa Pajor scored two brilliant headers before a strike from Jill Roord put Wolfsburg in control at the break. A deflected free-kick from Dominique Janssen added gloss to the scoreline.
It was the eighth cup victory in a row for Tommy Stroot’s side and their ninth triumph in the last 10 years. This win also saw them tie the record with Eintracht Frankfurt (FFC Frankfurt until 2020) for the most DFB-Pokal Frauen titles.
Amazingly, the last time Wolfsburg suffered a cup loss was in November 2013, after a 1-0 reversal on the road against Frankfurt.
Across in Spain, Barcelona quickly overcame their Champions League final heartbreak by completing a domestic treble with a 6-1 win over Sporting Huelva in the Copa de la Reina final yesterday.
The first-half goals came courtesy of an own goal from goalkeeper Emily Dolan and a header from Mapi Leon for the Catalonia-based side.
After the interval, Sandra Castello pulled one back for Sporting. But Barca then pulled away thanks to goals from substitute Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic, Claudia Pina, Lieke Marten and Alexia Putellas.
The last four teams in the cup play a mini-tournament at one venue. This year the Estadio Santo Domingo, located in Alcorcon, Madrid, took centre stage. Earlier in the week, Sporting Huelva had defeated UDG Tenerife 1-0. Barca with a 4-0 success against Real Madrid.Embed from Getty Images
This ninth cup success for Barca further extends their record for the total number of wins. It also continues their recent dominance in the competition, which has seen them claim the last three trophies and five of the previous half-dozen.
In France, it was back to the business of reclaiming the domestic title this weekend for Lyon after regaining their crown as champions of Europe.
PSG had halted their run of 14 straight titles last season, but a 6-1 demolition of the champions by Sonia Bompastor’s team in November had put them back in pole position to add to their tally.
That became a reality when Lyon gained a 1-0 win away to PSG on Matchday 21 of the Division 1 Feminine season. An early goal from Catarina Macario was enough to get the job completed for the visitors.
The victory moved Lyon onto 61 points, and if they can avoid defeat at home to Issy on Wednesday, they will end their league season without a loss to their name.
For the players who chose to leave PSG and join Lyon last summer, like goalkeeper Christiane Endler, another title vindicates that decision.
PSG, who did get their hands on some silverware after thrashing Yzeure Allier 8-0 in the final of the Coupe de France Feminine, are now back to square one. Having managed finally to topple Lyon, the club from the capital is now finding out just what it takes to remain at the summit.
The prowess of the champion sides to keep rising to the challenge year after year is outstanding. Even clubs that think they have finally attained supremacy find out that they possess an incredible ability to keep increasing the level, which allows them to get back on top again.
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