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Trailing 3-1 from the first leg at the Academy Stadium, the Blues headed to France with a mountain to climb against the three-time winners but claimed a hard-fought 1-0 triumph at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais, thanks to Carli Lloyd’s thunderous strike.
Nick Cushing’s side battled bravely, pushing their opponents to the wire and received a deserved ovation for an incredible debut in the competition, which heralded a last four spot following triumphs over Zvezda Perm, Brondby IF and Fortuna Hjorring.
Needing to score at least three, City adopted a more narrow attacking approach in a bid to stifle the hosts and steal behind the Lyon backline as they had done in the first leg with success.
The home side looked the more likely to score in the opening 45 minutes however, as Dzsenifer Marozsan forced Karen Bardsley into a save from distance and then saw another long-range effort swerve wide.
At the other end, chances were more limited with Lucy Bronze’s audacious half-volley the closest City came to reducing the deficit. Jill Scott also had a chance but was intercepted by Amel Majri before the England star could muster a shot.
Bardsley was called into action again on the stroke of half-time to deny Majri and Lyon headed into the break 3-1 up on aggregate.
Scott had another attempt just after the break but fired straight at Sarah Bouhaddi, while at the other end, Bardsley reacted well to prevent a Steph Houghton own-goal.
City broke the deadlock on 55 minutes with help from Bouhaddi, who had denied Lloyd minutes before she passed straight to the USA star. The midfielder down on goal before unleashing a rocket past the goalkeeper to claw the Blues back into the tie.
Cushing’s side struggled to breach the Lyon defence after that mistake though and while their victory proved an impressive accomplishment, it would not be enough to clinch progression.
Lyon sail through to the final in Cardiff, where they will face PSG on 1 June.
The Blues lined up in a 4-2-2-2 formation, seeking to penetrate down the middle.
Keira Walsh and Christiansen protected the back four, behind Kosovare Asllani and Scott, while Lloyd and Toni Duggan occupied the attacking roles.
The Blues trail reigning champions Lyon 3-1 from the semi-final first leg. Watch the second leg live on Facebook.
The Blues trail reigning champions Lyon 3-1 from the semi-final first leg but the England star insists her side are determined to overturn that deficit.