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Berger stars as Chelsea stun Lyon in Champions League shoot-out

Ann-Katrin Berger made two saves in a penalty shoot-out as Chelsea knocked holders Lyon out of the Women’s Champions League on Thursday to set up a semi-final with Barcelona.

An already dramatic two-legged tie had finished all-square at 2-2, but only after Chelsea substitute Maren Mjelde scored a penalty in the eighth minute of added-on time at the end of extra-time to send the match to spot-kicks.

Germany goalkeeper Berger then denied Wendie Renard before ending the match when she got a strong hand to Lindsey Horan’s strike low to the bottom left corner.

The Blues’ 4-3 shoot-out success sparked joyous scenes at Stamford Bridge, with Chelsea — yet to win the Women’s Champions League — now facing a Barcelona side that beat them 4-0 in the 2021 final.

Earlier two-time Champions League winners Wolfsburg secured a last-four place against Arsenal, one of Chelsea’s London rivals, with a 2-1 aggregate win over Paris Saint-Germain.

It is the first time since the 2017/18 season that two English teams have qualified for the semi-finals. 

Eight-times champions Lyon appeared to have done enough when Sara Dabritz’s goal deep into extra-time put the French side 2-0 up on the night and 2-1 ahead on aggregate.

But in the third minute of added-on time at the end of extra time, Lyon’s Vicki Becho clipped Lauren James inside the box. 

Following a lengthy VAR check, and with Lyon players surrounding the referee, a penalty was awarded.

Mjelde then kept her cool to fire in from the spot as her effort levelled the tie and sent it to a shoot-out. 

Lyon who had won this competition in six of the last seven seasons, kicked off 1-0 behind after Guro Reiten’s brilliant curling shot had given Chelsea a first-leg lead in France last week.

Lyon had to wait until the 77th minute to draw level when Vanessa Gilles nudged the ball in from a tight angle following a cross from Horan.

In a bruising encounter, neither side could manage another goal until the 110th minute when a cross from the right fell kindly for Dabritz, who shot into the far corner.

Earlier, a 1-1 draw at home was good enough for Wolfsburg to go through.

The German club took an early lead through star striker Alexandra Popp but that was soon cancelled out by a Kadidiatou Diani equaliser. 

Wolfsburg manager Tommy Stroot enjoyed his side’s “extremely special” victory, saying “we made it, we’re proud of it — and now Arsenal waits for us.”

Three-time Champions League winner Popp told DAZN: “We are mega happy and mega proud. It was a hard fight but we dug in.” 

The hosts went ahead on the night when Popp curled in a shot from outside the box following Wolfsburg’s first foray deep into PSG territory. 

PSG then took their turn at scoring against the run of play when Diani headed in a looped cross from Sakina Karchaoui.

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