Lyon 4-1 (6-2 agg) Benfica: Cascarino and Diani bag braces to reach UWCL semifinals

A stunning 4-1 victory over Benfica at home was enough to see Olympique Lyonnais reach the semifinals of the UEFA Women’s Champions League, with les Lyonnaises set to face either Paris Saint-Germain or BK Häcken in the final four.

Lyon headed into Wednesday’s match with a 2-1 lead from the first leg. Delphine Cascarino netted either side of half time, with Kadidiatou Diani bagging twice in stoppage time to rub salt into the Portuguese wounds.

Marie-Yasmine Alidou did find the back of the net for Benfica on the stroke of the interval, but the Canadian’s far-post finish wasn’t enough to salvage a meaningful result for Filipa Patão’s side.

As it happened

Olympique Lyonnais have pedigree in this competition, having lifted the prestigious trophy a staggering eight times. They were defeated at this stage of the tournament last season by Chelsea though, and would be keen to avoid suffering the same fate in 2023/24.

In possession of a slender 2-1 lead from the first leg on the Iberian peninsula, Lyon extended that advantage just before the break. Benfica’s Lena Pauels was beaten to the ball by Eugénie Le Sommer, with the French forward playing in Delphine Cascarino – and she made no mistake with the finish.

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But Benfica restored parity on the night and reduced Lyon’s aggregate lead to just the one goal on the stroke of half time, as a sublime pass from Kika Nazareth was met by Chandra Davidson. She squared the ball across the face of goal for her strike partner, with Marie-Yasmine Alidou slotting home at the far post.

The hosts restored their two-goal advantage just minutes into the second half, as Cascarino danced infield from the left flank before forcing a powerful effort into the bottom corner.

Olympique Lyonnais continued to force a number of opportunities as the half wore on, but it was in stoppage time that Kadidiatou Diani wrote her name in lights to seal the victory.

A deflected shot opened her personal tally for the evening, before an attempted clearance from Catarina Amado richocheted off the forward’s knee and over the line to confirm a 6-2 aggregate victory for Sonia Bompastor’s side.

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They will now face Paris Saint-Germain or BK Häcken in the semifinals. PSG lead 2-1 after the first leg, with the teams set to meet again at 20:00 GMT on Thursday.

The lineups

OL: Endler; Bacha, Mbock Bathy, Gilles, Carpenter; Däbritz, Horan; Cascarino, van de Donk, Diani; Le Sommer

BEN: Pauels; Ucheibe, Costa, Araújo; Silva, Martins, Gasper, Alves; Nazareth; Alidou, Davidson