The national soccer players Melanie Leupolz (28) and Ann-Katrin Berger (32) have reached the semi-finals of the Champions League with Chelsea as the last team. Late on Thursday evening, the Londoners defeated defending champions Olympique Lyon 4-3 on penalties at Stamford Bridge. Goalkeeper Berger became the heroine, saving attempts from Lyon’s Lindsey Horan and Wendie Renard.
There had already been dramatic scenes around Leupolz before. The 28-year-old, who had just been called up to the DFB squad for the first time after pregnancy and the birth of her child, was accidentally hit in the nose with her arm by Lyon defender Danielle van de Donk (31) in the 65th minute. Leupolz fell to the ground and immediately began to bleed profusely.
After the ball went out of bounds, doctors and support staff immediately ran onto the field and stopped the bleeding in a treatment break of almost four minutes. Then the 75-time national player was replaced. After the game, Leupolz gave the all-clear, in her story on Instagram she posts the TV screenshots of her injury and commented on her red fingernails: “At least the color of my nails matched.”
In the end, Leupolz was happy about reaching the semi-finals. After 90 minutes, Lyon, who had lost 1-0 in the first leg, led 1-0 (1-0) through Vanessa Gilles. In extra time, Germany international Sara Däbritz (28) made it 2-0, but Maren Mjelde’s converted penalty after a video evidence decision to make it 1-2 (120.8) saved Chelsea late in the penalty shoot-out. Däbritz and Dzsenifer Marozsán (30), who has retired from the national team, scored for Lyon, but Chelsea celebrated in the end.
The “Blues” meet FC Barcelona in the semi-finals at the end of April, who beat Rome on Wednesday. In the second knockout duel, VfL Wolfsburg and Bayern conqueror WFC Arsenal play for a place in the final. The exact appointments are not yet clear, the final will take place on June 3rd in Eindhoven.