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CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: PARISIAN WOMEN FALL AT THE DOORS OF THE FINAL

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As last year, Paris SG stopped in the semi-finals of the Women’s Champions League, eliminated Sunday by FC Barcelona (2-1), which will play on May 16 in Gothenburg its second European final after its failure in 2019.

After the feat, the disillusionment. The Parisians, who fell to the five-time defending champions Lyon in the quarters, were defeated by the Dutch Lieke Martens (8th, 31st), despite the goal of Marie-Antoinette Katoto (34th) which gave a vain hope to Olivier Echouafni’s players after the 1-1 draw in the first game. Since in the other semi-final, Chelsea faced Bayern Munich on Sunday at midday, the 2021 final of the Women’s Champions League will be the second in history without a French club: the 2014 final won by Wolfsburg against Tyresö of Sweden was the first and only one without a French team since the former UEFA Women’s Cup was renamed Women’s Champions League in 2009-2010. And the Parisians will have to wait to taste again a continental final. After the setbacks of 2015 in Berlin against Frankfurt (2-1) and 2017 in Cardiff against Lyon on penalties (0-0 a.p., 7-6 t.a.b.), it is a new European failure for the PSG women’s team.

Unprecedented final
PSG had started the game the best, putting their foot on the ball and occupying the Catalan camp, giving hope for the best… until the first goal of Martens (8th), who opened her right foot to catapult a ball served by Leila Ouahabi into the right corner of Christine Endler’s goal, who hesitated to go up before backing off late. The Dutch striker doubled her tally 20 minutes later, after good work from Caroline Graham Hansen on the right wing, who eventually found the flat of Martens’ left foot at the far post (31st).

The Parisians suffered against the Catalan wingers, often found in the back of the defense. But the goal of Marie-Antoinette Katoto, well placed at the end of a disputed ball in the box (34th), gave them hope. The French number 9 went to the back of the net, then went up the field with a fist, haranguing her teammates. In vain. Despite great chances from Ramona Bachmann (59th) and Sandy Baltimore (77th) in the second half, PSG never managed to shake the nets of the impassable Sandra Panos a second time… while on the other side, Jennifer Hermoso and Marta Torrejon hit the left post and the crossbar of the Parisian goal (70th), before the last big chance of Asisat Oshoala who hit Endler in the 90th. Barcelona will now have a golden opportunity to win their first European title on May 16 at the Gamla Ullevi stadium in Gothenburg, in an unprecedented final against the winner of the other semi-final between Bayern Munich and Chelsea.

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