Too bad for the cliché, but in the end, it’s OL that wins – almost – all the time. Beaten in the final of the French Women’s Cup (0-0, 4 tab to 3), PSG again saw their dreams of the title shattered on the Lyonnaises on Sunday night in Auxerre. A scenario all too well known in the Parisian ranks: this season, PSG lost the Champions Trophy in this way and finished second behind Lyon in a season amputated by the coronavirus crisis.
“The success is still in their camp for the moment”, was satisfied to underline Sunday evening the Parisian coach Olivier Echouafni who estimated besides that “this match was not even a defeat”. Of course, her team has reduced the gap between them and OL. Since 2017, the two rivals have faced each other five times for a title in a dry match (Coupe de France, Champions League, Champions Trophy): result, Lyon has won four times. A statistic that feeds the idea of a PSG complex in decisive moments.
“You can feel this difference between the two teams when you have to be a killer, analyzes Patrice Lair, former coach of OL (2010-2014) and PSG (2016-2018). They don’t miss much yesterday (Sunday). OL’s mastery can be seen in these hot moments. Like in a penalty shootout. “
Sunday evening, Olivier Echouafni’s strategy in this exercise had the air of a poker blow to try to break the curse of a team that remained on the last three penalty shootouts lost against OL. The former Blue coach did not involve executives like captain Irene Paredes, striker Kadidiatou Diani or midfielder Grace Geyoro.
Possible reunion with the Lyonnaises in the Champions League
Then, he let his goalkeeper, Christiane Endler, shoot just after pushing back Eugenie Le Sommer’s attempt. The Chilean, “who had not missed a penalty this week in training,” according to her coach, smashed the bar on her attempt. “After her stop, she must have had an adrenaline rush,” said OL coach Jean-Luc Vasseur. She didn’t get the emotion under control and hit a little too hard. “
The following ? The too soft strike of Léa Khelifi, entered especially for the exercise in the last seconds – another bet of Echouafni – was diverted by Sarah Bouhaddi, endorsing this new Parisian setback. One more, against a rival that PSG could meet again in the semi-final of the Champions League during the Final 8 of the competition in the Spanish Basque Country (August 21-30).
“A penalty shootout is not a lottery,” says Patrice Lair. It is a matter of mind and self-confidence. And in this area, Lyon is very solid. Paris has developed a small feeling of inferiority in penalties. It’s complicated to correct, but you have to disregard that. And for that, it’s up to experienced players to show the way. ”