PARIS: Maren Mjelde fired Chelsea into the last four of the Women’s Champions League and a clash with all-conquering Lyon after her stoppage time strike saw them squeeze past Paris Saint-Germain 3-2 on aggregate on Wednesday.
Elsewhere, Barcelona eased into a semi-final clash with Bayern Munich thanks to Lieke Martens’ seventh-minute strike that sealed a 4-0 aggregate win for the Catalans over Lillestrom SK. Bayern comfortably progressed after a 5-1 thumping of Slavia Prague that gave the Germans a 6-2 overall victory.
Norway international Mjelde met Karen Carney’s pinpoint pass seconds into added time to snatch the tie and spark wild celebrations after the Blues let their 2-0 first-leg advantage slip and risked being dumped out by a powerful PSG performance.
Her late strike was enough for Emma Hayes’s side to go through despite losing 2-1 on the night and being completely outplayed by PSG. The Parisiens were all over Chelsea in a dominant second-half display, and levelled the tie through Marie-Antoinette Katoto two minutes after the break and a comical own goal from Blues keeper Ann-Katrin Berger.
Roared on by a passionate home crowd led by a hardcore ultras group who protested treatment they received by police at the first leg in England-when fans were caught with weapons and drugs-the hosts looked favourites as the tie headed towards extra time, but Mjelde nipped in to slot past Christiane Endler and book a huge tie with European champions Lyon.
“I’m so disappointed for my team, so much effort completely wiped out by a moment of carelessness. I am disappointed for them because they gave everything,” said PSG coach Olivier Echouafni.
Reynald Pedros’s Lyon kept up their hunt for a fourth straight Women’s Champions League after Eugenie Le Sommer’s brace won a thrilling encounter with Wolfsburg 4-2 and knock the German side out for the fourth year in a row.
France forward Le Sommer struck in the 60th and 80th minutes to send Lyon into the last four 6-3 on aggregate after Denmark striker Pernille Harder clawed dogged Wolfsburg back from an early 2-0 deficit with two goals in three second-half minutes.
Lyon, ahead 2-1 from the first leg in France, looked set to cruise through following a cheeky eighth-minute free-kick from Dzsenifer Marozsan and France captain Wendy Renard’s penalty 17 minutes later.
Harder drew Wolfsburg-who lost the 2016 and 2018 finals to Lyon-level on the night with two quickfire strikes in the 53rd and 56th minutes to leave them needing to score twice more without reply to progress.
However Le Sommer killed any hopes of what would have been an incredible aggregate comeback when she headed Lyon back in front on the hour mark, and 20 minutes later she guided Delphine Cascarino’s cross past Almuth Schult and ended the match as a contest.