Important But Difficult Win For Lyon

Jean-Pierre Thiesset summarises Olympique Lyonnais’ 2-1 win in the away leg of their UEFA Women’s Champions League second qualifying round tie against Levante in Valencia, Spain.

Above: A midfield tussle between Olympique Lyonnais and Levante last night. Photo: Levante UD.

This game was not an easy one for Olympique Lyonnais and there were a lot of movements back and forth from one goal to the other. Even if Lyon largely dominated this game (63% possession in first half), the constant pressing from Levante disrupted Lyon’s game plan and there were a lot of misdirected passes as well as a lack of speed in the play.

Levante could have scored on a number of counterattacks and in the first half, Lyon goalkeeper Christiane Endler Lyon goalkeeper had to make saves, particularly in the 22nd and 28th minutes (22, 28) to deny Levante. Strangely, Levante had more true opportunities to score than Lyon by playing in quick counterattacks in the first half. Levante players made also a lot of fouls trying to stop Lyon attacks (11 fouls in the first half for Levante; 3 fouls for Lyon).

Highlights of the first half:

5 Endler cleared a ball directly into Buchanan’s head who is a little bit groggy by the shock.

7 Carpenter crosses, no one can get on the end of it.

9 Bacha’s crosses, no one can get on the end of it.

12 Henry attacks and crosses, no one can get on the end of it.

14 Free Kick from Macario, cleared by the Levante defence.

15 Cross by Macario, cleared by the Levante defence.

16 Pass by Majri to Morroni, who crosses but cleared by the Levante defence.

18 Cross by Morroni and then Carpenter, both cleared by the Levante defence.

21 Carpenter shoots over.

22 Levante counterattack, cross shot of Alba Redondo stopped by Endler.

25 Another counterattack from Levante which comes to nothing.

28 Free kick for Levante, the ball is cleared, then crossed by Maria Mendez Fernandez and stopped by Endler.

32 Free kick by Majri, header from Macario off target.

33 Great clearance by the foot of Endler which ends up with a cross by Macario which was caught by the Levante goalkeeper.

37 Bacha recuperates the ball and passes to Morroni, cross of Morroni, sent back by Levante defence.

40 Buchanan clears the ball with a long pass, and the move ends with a header by Van de Donk which is caught by Levante goalkeeper.

At halftime, the score was still 0-0.

Lyon started the second half trying to put more rhythm in their game but the Levante high pressing quickly made them to go back to inaccurate passes. Furthermore, they played towards the centre of the Levante defence which merely aided the home side’s counterattacks.

Highlights of the second half:

Above: It was a competitive tussle in Valencia last night between Levante and Olympique Lyonnais. Photo: Levante UD.

48 Corner for Lyon following an attack down the right by Carpenter, Majri shoots but no luck.

50 Free kick for Lyon, Cross from Macario, cleared by Levante defence.

51 Shot by Macario, count attack by Levante defence leads to a corner.

53 Shot of Morroni, stopped by Levante’s goalkeeper.

54 Pass by Carpenter to Majri who crosses but Levante’s goalkeeper sends the ball back.

55 Shot by Macario, stopped by the Levante goalkeeper at the second attempt.

57 Shot saved by Levante goalkeeper.

59 On a counterattack, Levante enter the Lyon box and shoot off target.

61 Shot of Alba Redondo, stopped by Endler.

64 Cross by Laurent, cleared by the Levante defence. From the resulting corner, Bacha hits the cross bar

68 Counterattack by Levante, shot off target.

73 Cross by Laurent for Malard, cleared by the Levante defence.

80 GOAL LYON! Malard with a cross shot from left to right following a great pass from Majri.

84 GOAL LYON! Morroni with a cross shot from left to right after a pass from Malard who was brilliantly put in from Cayman for 2-0

86 GOAL LEVANTE! Giovanna following a break by Tatiana Pinto up to the goal line and a perfect pass back for 2-1.

93 Second yellow card for Bacha -> Red card

Lyon did not play fast enough to destabilize and overtake Levante players and their high press game. There were too many inaccurate passes by Lyon who were unable to impose their game on the Spanish side. The changes around the 60th minute mark gave the visitors more speed in their game, and they were able to score twice about 20 minutes later. On their last counterattack Levante reduced the score to 2-1 on a penetration of Lyon defence and a back pass.

Referee: Jelena Medjedovic.

Goals: Anselmo (86′) for Levante; Melvine Malard (80′), Perle Morroni (84′) for Lyon.

Yellow cards: Mendez Fernandez (45′), Paraluta (72′) for Levante; Selma Bacha (23′, 90+3′), Kadeisha Buchanan (69′) for Lyon.

Red card: Selma Bacha (90+3′) for Lyon.

Levante: Valenzuela – Tomas (Cometti, 79′), Miralles, Mendez Fernandez, Morente – San Martin, Toletti, Nicolas – Mendez (Pinto, 71′), Ferrer (Anselmo, 85′), Indakoetxea. Substitutes: Paraluta, Casanova, Iannuzzi, Nunez, Bascunan. Coach: Angel Villacampa Carrasco.

Lyon: Endler – Bacha, Renard, Buchanan, Carpenter (Cayman, 78′) – Majri, Henry, Van de Donk (Damaris, 62′) – Morroni, Bruun (Laurent, 56′), Macario (Malard, 62′). Substitutes: Holmgren, Paljevic, Sombath, Baga, Julini, Cascarino. Coach: Sonia Bompastor.

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