Women’s Champions League: deprived of Diani, the Parisians eliminated by Wolfsburg in the quarter-finals
Deprived in the second half of their center forward Kadidiatou Diani, hit in the right shoulder after forty minutes, the Parisians were eliminated in the quarter-finals of the Champions League on Thursday evening by the Germans of Wolfsburg. After the defeat (1-0) in the first leg on the lawn of the Parc des Princes last week, Grace Geyoro’s teammates could not do better than a 1-1 draw in the VW-Arena in Wolfsburg, synonymous with end of the European adventure this season.
Finalist of the Champions League in 2015 and 2017 (respective defeats by Frankfurt and Olympique Lyonnais), the Parisiennes miss the last four of the Champions League for the first time in four seasons (semi-finals in 2020, 2021 and 2022 ). Gérard Prêcheur’s players absolutely had to win at Wolfsburg by two goals to reach the semi-finals of the competition and imposed high pressure during the first twenty minutes.
Diani hit in the right shoulder
They created the first chances, from the 5th minute by Laurina Frazer, whose strike lacked power to worry Merle Frohms. The goalkeeper, vice-champion of Europe last summer in England with the Mannschaft, saw Kadidiatou Diani open the scoring in the 11th minute, but the goal of the Parisian striker was logically refused after consultation with the VAR, for a clear offside position (upper body and right leg).
Against the run of play, the Germans opened the scoring in the 20th minute through the indestructible Alexandra Popp. At the origin of the recovery of the ball, Popp was served by Felicitas Rauch, and at the entrance of the penalty area, she lobbed Sarah Bouhaddi with a superb shot from the left. Stunned, the Parisiennes avoided Popp’s double in the 28th minute, on a diving header repelled by Bouhaddi, then came back to score at the half-hour mark. On a perfectly measured cross from Sakina Karchaoui, Diani beat the defender Dutchwoman Dominique Janssen to deceive Frohms.
Turning point of the game
The turning point of the game came in the 40th minute. In a duel with the German Kathrin Hendrich, Diani fell badly to the ground on her right shoulder. Treated for long minutes, the Frenchwoman came back but lay down again in the penalty area in added time and returned to the locker room with her arm in a sling and with ice. She was replaced by Amalie Vangsgaard after the break.
Wolfburg dominated the debates in the second half, hitting the uprights twice by Popp (53rd) and Sveindis Jonsdottir (85th), while Bouhaddi won his duel with Jill Roord (58th minute) and Geyoro pushed back on his line the head of Popp (60th). European champions in 2013 and 2014 and finalists in the event in 2016, 2018 and 2020, the players from Wolfsburg will face Arsenal in the semi-finals. The Londoners knocked out Bayern Munich on Wednesday night, overturning a 1-0 first-leg loss at Munich’s Allianz Arena with a 2-0 win at Emirates Stadium.