It was a record-equalling UEFA Women's Champions League season for Lyon, as they matched FFC Frankfurt's marks of six finals and four titles, though for the second year running they needed a penalty shoot-out to win the decider.
For the seventh time in the eight finals since the UEFA Women's Cup was rebranded, there was French representation (and for only the third time in the competition's 16-year history, no German teams). This time, France supplied both finalists as Lyon took on Paris Saint-Germain in front of more than 22,000 fans at Cardiff City Stadium.
Only a few days earlier, the sides had met in the French Cup final, with Lyon winning a penalty shoot-out that went to the 16th kick. Lyon played winter loan signing Alex Morgan and reigning UEFA Best Women's Player in Europe Ada Hegerberg in a three-player forward line in the UEFA Women's Champions League final, but the American went off injured early and the Norway striker was also replaced due to illness, as a great performance from Paris goalkeeper Katarzyna Kiedrzynek meant it finished 0-0.
Just as in the French Cup final, the teams could not be separated after seven kicks each. Then Kiedrzynek stepped up and missed, opposite number Sarah Bouhaddi then clinching a 7-6 Lyon victory by converting her effort. Bouhaddi, Wendie Renard, Camille Abily and Eugénie Le Sommer all secured their fourth title with Lyon, the first team to have a second successful title defence in this competition, having previously won back-to-back crowns in 2011 and 2012.
The record entry of 55 clubs included first Kosovan entrants Hajvalia, who drew two of their three qualifying round games; Norway's Avaldsnes were the only of the six debutants to survive that stage. Some big names came out of the hat in the early knockout stages as Wolfsburg beat Chelsea in the round of 32 and Fortuna Hjørring beat Brescia to end a run of seven straight last 16 exits.
However, Fortuna fell in the quarter-finals to newcomers Manchester City, who had taken out Zvezda-2005 and Brøndby in an impressive maiden run. It was France 2-0 Germany in the last eight as Lyon saw off Wolfsburg in a 2016 final rematch and Paris defeated Bayern München, while Barcelona made their first semi-final with an impressive 3-0 aggregate defeat of Rosengård.
Paris, though, were to prove too much for Barcelona in the semis, avenging their men's team's UEFA Champions League last 16 defeat to the Blaugrana by winning 3-1 in Spain and 2-0 at Parc des Princes. City lost 3-1 at home to Lyon but gave notice of their promise with a 1-0 victory in the return.
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