Five consecutive titles, seven titles in nine years — Lyon’s reign of dominance in the Women’s Champions League shows no signs of abating.
The French side defeated Wolfsburg 3-1 in San Sebastian, Spain, on Sunday to further cement its status as one of the most decorated sides in European football.
The victory, which came courtesy of goals from Eugénie Le Sommer, Saki Kumagai and Sara Bjork Gunnarsdóttir, equals the record of consecutive European titles set by Real Madrid’s men from 1956 to 1960.
“It’s hard to be a winner, you have to work extremely hard,” said Lyon captain Wendie Renard. “You battle year in, year out for this trophy. We’re bringing it back — we’re bringing it back for the fans.”
France international Le Sommer, brought into the starting lineup for the suspended Nikita Parris, opened the scoring in the first half when she followed up to convert her own blocked shot.
Kumagai doubled Lyon’s lead just before half time with a crisp left-footed strike from outside the box, only for Alexandra Popp to pull one back for Wolfsburg midway through the first half.
But Lyon would not be denied. With two minutes of normal time remaining, Gunnarsdóttir, who had been part of Wolfsburg’s Champions League campaign before joining Lyon last month, reacted quickly to flick Le Sommer’s powerfully driven shot into the back of the net.
“We were talking about matching records and we’ve now achieved that because Lyon are at the same historic level as Real Madrid in the 1950s and 60s,” said coach Jean-Luc Vasseur.
“(Lyon) had to rewrite history and that process started a few years ago and I do not think they are about to stop any time soon.”
When it comes to the women’s game, Lyon has long been ahead of the curve ever since president Jean-Michel Aulas took over the female section of the club in 2004.
Aulas’ investment in “Les Fenottes” has led to a decade of dominance which has brought the world’s top players to the club, yielding 14 league titles and, now, seven Champions League victories.