Player ratings as European champions edge to victory

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Arsenal progressed to the quarter-finals of the Champions League on Thursday evening despite a 1-0 defeat to European champions Lyon, in a game that was marred by a serious looking injury sustained by Vivianne Miedema.

The Arsenal forward was stretchered off in first half stoppage time after landing awkwardly on her left leg.

The result leaves Lyon only needing a draw from their crunch tie with Juventus next week to qualify for the last eight, while Arsenal will still top the group with victory over Zurich.

Arsenal saw the better of the opportunities in a tightly-contested first half. Miedema saw a low shot blocked, Lotte Wubben-Moy headed narrowly over from a corner, and Caitlin Foord was a whisker away from connecting with a curling Katie McCabe cross at the back post.

Lyon threatened more as half time neared, with a Steph Catley goal-saving block at the back post required to keep out Delphine Cascarino.

It was a warning sign, and the visitors took the lead in first half stoppage time. Arsenal failed to deal with a free kick from deep, and Vanessa Gilles’s flick on was turned into her own net by the unfortunate Maanum. Melvine Malard, who contested the ball alongside Maanum, appeared to have been offside when Gilles won the initial header.

Things went from bad to worse for Arsenal as, just before the break, Miedema landed awkwardly on her left leg following an innocuous challenge. She received treatment on the pitch for several minutes, before being stretchered off with her leg heavily strapped and her head in her hands.

Both sides changes things up at half time and in the early stages of the second half. Substitute Eugenie Le Sommer stung the palms of Manuela Zinsberger as Lyon pushed for a second.

Arsenal did not test Christiane Endler until the stroke of full time, the Lyon keeper pushing a deflected Stina Blackstenius effort away at her near post as the French champions saw out a vital victory.

Arsenal v Olympique Lyonnais: Group C - UEFA Women's Champions League

The Arsenal team line up ahead of facing Lyon / Gaspafotos/MB Media/GettyImages

GK: Manuela Zinsberger – 6/10 – Question marks over her goalkeeping for the Lyon goal, flapping at and failing to get a connection to the flick on header. Kept Le Sommer out from point blank range in the second half.

RB: Laura Wienroither – 8/10 – Bursting with energy, up and down the right flank all evening and a constant source of danger for the Gunners.

CB: Leah Williamson – 6/10 – Won plenty in the air in the first half, before moving into midfield at half time following Miedema’s injury, where her influence was limited slightly.

CB: Lotte Wubben-Moy – 6/10 – Headed a fraction over from a corner in the first half, and crunched into a couple of challenges on the halfway line to halt potentially dangerous Lyon breakaways. Failed to deal with the free kick in the build up to Lyon’s equaliser, her sliced clearance falling straight to Cascarino.

LB: Steph Catley – 7/10 – Made a huge, goal saving block in the first half to keep out Cascarino and had a fascinating battle with the Lyon winger.

CM: Lia Walti – 7/10 – Effortlessly good on the ball and dictated play for the Gunners.

CM: Frida Maanum – 6/10 – Full of energy and exciting bursts forward, but the final ball was just missing at times. Moved further forward following Miedema’s injury, and not a lot she could do about the own goal.

CM: Vivianne Miedema – 6/10 – Saw a low strike blocked in the opening stages of the first half. Stretchered off on the cusp of half time with her left knee strapped up after landing awkwardly.

RW: Katie McCabe – 6/10 – Came so close to setting up Foord for an almost certain opening goal in the first half with a teasing back-post delivery. Was sent racing through early in the second half, but could only fire straight at Endler.

ST: Stina Blackstenius – 5/10 – Struggled to keep hold of the ball and exert her influence on the game.

LW: Caitlin Foord – 6/10 – So close to connecting with a McCabe back post cross in the first half. Otherwise struggled to have the usual attacking influence she has had on matches this season.

Rafaelle (46′ for Miedema) – 6/10

Lina Hurtig (85′ for McCabe) – N/A

Arsenal v Olympique Lyonnais: Group C - UEFA Women's Champions League

Lyon lined up in a 4-3-3 / Gaspafotos/MB Media/GettyImages

GK: Christiane Endler – 6/10 – Not really tested until the stroke of full time, tipping a Blackstenius effort around the post. Composed with her distribution.

RB: Alice Sombath – 7/10 – Kept touch tight to the in-form Foord and had a really good battle with the Arsenal winger.

CB: Wendie Renard – 7/10 – Kept Blackstenius well marshalled between herself and Gilles.

CB: Vanessa Gilles – 7/10 – Won the header in the build-up to the Lyon opener and turned in a solid defensive performance.

LB: Perle Morroni – 8/10 – Had a busy evening up against McCabe and the marauding Wienroither, but stuck to her task well and was really solid.

CM: Damaris Egurrola – 8/10 – The midfield anchor for Lyon, shielded the back four really impressively and broke up play well.

CM: Lindsey Horan – 7/10 – A really tenacious midfield display, crunching into challenges at every opportunity

CM: Danielle van de Donk – 5/10 – Drifted in and out of the game upon her return to her former club, before being replaced at half time.

RW: Delphine Cascarino – 7/10 – Came so close to opening the scoring but saw a goal-bound effort blocked in the first half. So tricky and clever on the ball, and had a really good battle with Catley.

ST: Melvine Malard – 5/10 – Appeared to be interfering with play from an offside position in the build up to Lyon’s opener. Largely otherwise kept quiet and replaced early in the second half.

LW: Selma Bacha – 6/10 – A real live wire with flashes of quality – including a beautiful pass with the outside of her boot to Cascarino in the second half – and had a good battle with Wienroither.

Amandine Henry (46′ for Van de Donk) – 6/10

Eugenie Le Sommer (55′ for Malard) – 6/10

Janice Cayman (80′ for Bacha) – 6/10

Vicki Jessy Becho Desbonne (90′ for Cascarino) – N/A

Player of the match: Damaris Egurrola (Lyon)

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#Player #ratings #European #champions #edge #victory

mrB

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