Will a French club participate in the semi-finals of the 2023 Women's Champions League? After the elimination of PSG, at the end of its draw (1-1), Thursday March 30 in Wolfsburg, the last French chance rests on Olympique Lyonnais (OL), eightfold European champion, who moves at Chelsea from 9 p.m. If the Lyonnaises fail to overturn a negative mark (1-0 defeat in the first leg), there will be no tricolor representative in the last four of the competition for the first time since 2014.
Finalists 2015 and 2017, the Parisiennes failed to qualify for a seventh semi-final of the Champions League. Beaten 1-0 in the first leg, they failed to reverse the trend on the lawn of the Germans. Double winners of the competition, in 2013 and 2014, their evening rivals were playing their 14th quarter-final in a row.
Deprived for many weeks of its star scorer, Marie-Antoinette Katoto touched in the knee, the PSG connects the hard knocks. On Thursday, striker Kadidiatou Diani injured her shoulder on a foul from German defender Kathrin Hendrich, a few minutes after scoring the equalizing goal for Paris.
Member of the rebels who obtained the departure of the coach of the France team, Corinne Deacon, Kadidiatou Diani was to appear in the first list of Hervé Renard - whose arrival at the head of the Bleues was formalized a little earlier in the day.
PSG deprived of their main offensive weapon at the break
At PSG, she is the number 1 offensive weapon of a team that has been struggling to score for a few games. His absence in the second period certainly weighed heavily on the fate of the meeting and must have worried Hervé Renard, as an attentive observer.
In the first leg, the Parisiennes had multiplied the chances and finally lost on a penalty from Dominique Janssen. In Wolfsburg, the German players showed the same efficiency. While the Parisians Ramona Bachmann (1st minute) and Laurina Fazer (5th) - too imprecise - or Kadidiatou Diani (11th) - goal disallowed for an offside position - lack efficiency, the German club transforms its first opportunity in order.
The inevitable Alexandra Popp deceives the French goalkeeper Sarah Bouhhadi, who is too advanced, with a touch of the ball. Mute for 14 Champions League matches, the scorer is a woman of great appointment. Last year, she scored the double that eliminated the French team in the semi-finals of Euro 2022.
In the 28th minute of play, Popp passed very close to his second goal: his diving header was pushed back by the reflex save of Bouhhadi, who caught up with the marking error of his central defense composed of two usual midfielders (Grace Geyoro and Oriane Jean-Francois).
Two minutes later, PSG took advantage of a German defensive error. On a bell-shaped and seemingly innocuous ball from Sakina Karchaoui, Dominique Janssen did not appreciate the trajectory of the ball and was overtaken by Kadidiatou Diani who equalized with a header (30th, 1-1). But the tricolor striker leaves her place at the break, replaced by the Danish Amalie Vangsgaard.
After this exit on injury, the Parisiennes of coach Gérard Prêcheur were unrecognizable. And those of Wolfsburg have clearly taken the lead over their opponents. But by clumsiness, bad luck or because of several rescues of Parisiennes, the German club never managed to score the second goal which would have ended the suspense earlier.
Alexandra Popp first missed the inevitable by hitting the post, alone three meters from the cage of Sarah Bouhhadi (53rd). Then, Paris is close to breaking when Jill Roord comes up against the tricolor goalkeeper face-to-face (58th) and Popp - again her - does not see her header cleared on the line by Grace Geyoro (60th) .
Gérard Prêcheur then launches the young American Korbin Albert, 19, but it is the players of Tommy Stroot who continue to dominate this quarter-final return. In the 77th minute of play, Lena Oberdorf finds the crossbar on a corner before Sveindis Jonsdottir fails in extremis in the same way on a distant center shot (86th). PSG will have had only one opportunity but a delicate control of Sakina Karchaoui complicates the task of the Parisian player who misses her shot (84th).
In the semi-finals (April 22 and 29), Wolfsburg will face Arsenal, who overthrew Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals. The winner of Chelsea-Lyon will meet FC Barcelona, easily qualified against AS Roma.