Juventus Women’s hopes of making it through to the UEFA Women’s Champions League knockout stages are over after a 0-0 draw against Lyon was not enough to see the Bianconere snatch second place on Wednesday night.
The two sides came into the match in France separated by two points, which meant that the task for both was simple. Juventus had to win, Lyon could not afford to lose. A draw would be okay for the French side though, and that is what they got.
There was an incentive for Lyon to win though as if they had, they would have topped the group. Instead, Arsenal hammered FC Zurich 9-1 and clinched top spot and a theoretically easier draw in the quarter-finals.
A tight affair in Lyon
On the most part, it was a game with a very limited amount of clear-cut chances but the current UWCL champions certainly had the better of the action. The likes of Delphine Casacarino and Lindsey Horan were causing the Bianconere issues and it seemed the Serie A Femminile side were just waiting for a moment to snatch a goal.
The pressure did build in the second half through and Pauline Peyraud-Magnin had to make some big saves to keep Juve in touching distance. As the game wore on, Juve knew they needed to push forward and they fashioned a couple of presentable chances for Cristiana Girelli and Barbara Bonansea.
In the end though, Lyon held firm and kept their hopes of winning a ninth UWCL alive.
Juventus impress in tough UWCL group
Whilst it will be a major disappointment not to get out of the group stage having done so last season, Juventus will know that they were handed what seemed a near-impossible task.
They were put in a group with the holders and an Arsenal team that are a candidate to go very far in this competition. The fact that on late goal would have put Juventus through in the final game is an achievement in itself and represents further progress for the women’s game in Italy in comparison to the rest of Europe.
The flag will now have to be flown by AS Roma who are through to the knockout rounds and will compete for top spot on Thursday night.