The second UEFA Women's Champions League final in London involved the same teams as the first 12 months earlier – but this time Olympique Lyonnais emerged as winners, beating holders 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam to take France's maiden title.
From the off, Lyon, Potsdam and the winners of the final UEFA Women's Cup in 2009, FCR 2001 Duisburg, were the favourites. And like last year the two German sides were to meet in the semi-finals, Potsdam cruising to that stage with three huge aggregate victories, beating Finnish debutants Åland United 15-0, Austria's SV Neulengbach 16-0 and Lyon's French rivals FCF Juvisy Essonne 9-2.
In 2010 Potsdam needed penalties to see off Duisburg but this time they drew 2-2 away and Yuki Nagasato's goal in the return was decisive. There was consolation for Duisburg as Inka Grings ended top scorer on 13 goals while perhaps the result of the tournament came in the qualifying round when two-time winners Umeå IK were stunned 4-1 by Apollon Limassol LFC.
Lyon saw off two strong contenders, AZ Alkmaar and WFC Rossiyanka, 10-1 and 11-1 overall then met another Russian side, Zvezda-2005, in the quarter-finals, dominating but only winning with a second-leg goal by Lara Dickenmann at Stade de Gerland. The competition's first pre-final crowd of over 20,000 turned up there for the opening leg of the semi with Arsenal LFC, two early Lotta Schelin goals sealing a 2-0 win for Lyon, followed by a 3-2 victory in the return.
A crowd of 14,303 were at Fulham FC's Craven Cottage for the final, not put off by the torrential rain on match day that cleared by kick-off. Potsdam, missing the injured Nagasato, began the brighter with their positive three-strong forward line of Anja Mittag, Fatmire Bajramaj and Isabel Kerschowski. But gradually Lyon took control, Lotta Schelin causing menace up front and Élodie Thomis dangerous on the right, from where the opening goal came on 27 minutes.
Sonia Bompastor's corner from that flank was headed back by Amandine Henry to Schelin; her shot was blocked by 2010 final hero Anna Felicitas Sarholz but towering right-back Wendie Renard poked in the rebound. Potsdam's best chances came early in the second half, with Kerschowski and Mittag both unable to force in from close range. But Lyon were up to the physical challenge and had two top-class substitutes to bring on and with five minutes left they combined for the clinching goal, Eugénie Le Sommer's ball from the right gleefully buried by Dickenmann.
Winning coach Patrice Lair was appointed by Lyon after last season's final, and stated bluntly that his aim was to secure them this title. The signing of Bompastor, final player of the match Camille Abily and Le Sommer had made Lyon even stronger than in 2010, and Lair said: "Emotionally it's a great moment, I think my best as a coach. I've enjoyed the whole season with this wonderful squad."
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