Controversial Penalty Sends Chelsea Women through to Champions League Semis at Lyon’s Expense.

Chelsea Women pulled off a stunning comeback in the Women’s Champions League quarter-finals to knock out the eight-time winners Lyon on penalties. The match saw controversy surrounding the crucial penalty decision in Chelsea’s favor in the game’s dying moments. The final score was 2-2 on aggregate, with the Blues securing the victory after the shootout ended 4-3 in their favor.

The match started with Lyon looking to overturn a 2-1 deficit from the first leg. The French side quickly dominated the play and created several opportunities to take the lead, but Chelsea’s defense thwarted them. The visitors gradually grew into the game and began creating their own chances.

The deadlock was eventually broken in the 77th minute when Vanessa Gilles scored a fantastic goal assisted by Lindsey Horanf. Chelsea almost equalized just before the 90th minute, but the Lyon goalkeeper was equal to the task. As the match entered extra time, the game’s intensity increased, with both teams looking to score the winner. Lyon took the lead in the 110th minute through substitute Sara Dabritz, who finished off a counter-attack with a well-placed shot. It put Lyon ahead on away goals and left Chelsea with a mountain to climb.

The Blues responded positively and equalized in the 120+8 minute when Lauren James was brought down in the box. The referee initially did not give a penalty, but after consulting the pitchside monitor, she pointed to the spot. Maren Mjelde stepped up and slotted the ball into the top left corner, taking the game to penalties.

The shootout was a tense affair, with both teams missing several spot-kicks. Lyon’s Wendie Renard and Chelsea’s James both missed their penalties, but Ann-Katrin Berger made the decisive save to send Chelsea to the semi-finals, where they will face Barcelona.

The controversy surrounding the penalty decision should be balanced with Chelsea’s excellent performance. They showed great resilience and determination to return from a goal down in extra time and secure the victory.

It was a memorable night for the Blues and their fans, and they will now be looking forward to their semi-final clash against Barcelona. The win over Lyon is a significant milestone for Chelsea, who has built a strong squad over the past few years. They have reached the finals of the Women’s Champions League for the first time since 2021 and will be looking to win the competition.

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