At OL Park,
You almost had to pinch yourself, at the start of 2022, to believe in the three unusual underperformances of OL. Slap in Paris in the Coupe de France (3-0), draw (1-1) conceded in the derby in D1, and end of the quarter-final first leg of Champions League chaotic (2-1)… Unrecognizable, the seven-time European champion has done all this in two months, to the point of finding himself on the edge of the precipice, when welcoming Juve Thursday evening.
Palpable pressure, after a nightmarish 2020-2021 season without a single title, which left the 20,017 spectators at Parc OL a glimpse of the worst during a “timid” start (according to Sonia Bompastor). Wendie Renard could have been sanctioned with a penalty after a push on Lina Hurtig (5th) and Selma Bacha had to be heroic to avoid the blow against the same Swedish striker from Juve (0-0, 23rd).
Two goals in three minutes thanks to Hegerberg and Malard
“We all knew that we needed a first goal for us to get into it, to unlock this match, confides Ada Hegerberg afterwards. It took a lot of rage to win such an appointment. “The Norwegian striker did not miss the half-hour mark, when flying over the Italian defense to free his group (1-0, 33rd).
The euphoric effect was immediately felt, since Melvine Malard doubled the bet in stride (2-0, 35th), then virtually qualifying OL. As if by magic, the “relief” of the first goal scored then made it possible to find on many sequences the team of Sonia Bompastor who mastered their subject so much during the first part of the season.
“It is important that we continue to build our game”
An amazing Griedge Mbock in this side position which is not his, a very complementary midfielder (Egurrola, Horan and Macario, before Henry entered at the break) and a Delphine Cascarino found in front: OL still enough to succeed in its new European conquest. “We know our qualities but it is important that we continue to build our game, insists Ada Hegerberg. I think we always have room for improvement. It’s obvious, but with 13 shots from 5 and 59% possession on Thursday evening, Lyon were up to the task.
To the point of affording an anthology goal through the young American Catarina Macario (3-0, 73rd), queen of control oriented on the spot. Even the reduction of the gap from Andrea Staskova (3-1, 84th) did not panic the current leader of D1, as in the first leg. From April 23-24, here he is who will find PSG in the semi-finals of the Champions League, as usual or almost. It will indeed be the 6th opposition between the two historical rivals over the last 8 seasons on the European scene, with so far a recent record slightly favorable to OL (3 wins against 2).
“It’s nice to be a footballer and to play in front of an audience like that”
“We are starting to get to know each other quite well with PSG, smiles Ada Hegerberg, proud of her sweet understatement. It’s important for French football, and it’s impressive to have two teams present in the semi-finals, year after year. It remains to be seen who will challenge Barça or Wolfsburg in the final on Saturday May 21 (7 p.m.) at Juventus Stadium in Turin. What is certain is that the star striker with 57 goals in 57 European games enjoyed finding the atmosphere of a big match at Parc OL.
“It’s obvious that the supporters brought us a big plus. It’s nice to be a footballer and to play in front of an audience like that. “Especially when you haven’t had the chance to taste this adrenaline of the European Cup for two seasons without injuries, right, Ada?