Lyon were welcomed to Manchester for their UEFA Women’s Champions League semi-final first leg by weather more befitting of the Saint-Tropez setting they celebrated last year’s title in. The sun wasn’t quite beating down when they took on Man City on Sunday afternoon, but even after a windy, goalless opening game of the tie, Norwegian star striker Ada Hegerberg was markedly upbeat. She told us how she is more than confident that Lyon will be continuing on their quest for a third #UWCL title in a row after the return fixture.
SK: How did you feel out there today? What were you happy with as a team and what were you not happy with?
AH: I mean we created chances, we just never managed to get them in the goal! Some periods were better; some showed quite clearly what we need to work on for the next game. That’s getting the ball a bit higher up the pitch, owning the ball a bit more, dominating higher up the pitch. Also, making sure we get some more crosses in. All in all, some stuff to work on, but…zero-zero.
SK: Did you notice anything different about Man City from when you’ve played them before? Have they changed or developed?
AH: Well they have some new players. At the same time, I feel they play the same football they played last year: quite physical. So that’s something we need to adapt to. We want to be physical as well but we want to play with the ball. All in all, we knew what we were expecting and I think we got that today.
SK: Has Lucy (Bronze) been telling you things about City, where you might be able to hurt them etc.?
AH: Yeah, she’s got some details! All in all, it’s just about focusing on ourselves and what we need to do better. That’s what we need to do for the next game as well.
SK: Thinking back to this time last year, when of course you went on to retain this competition, obviously you have another year of experience, but do you feel even better as a player now? Do you feel confident in that?
AH: I mean, every year you grow. You try to take those small steps, improve those details. I feel I’ve improved on those details I want to improve, but at the same time there’s still things I need to work on.
SK: Looking at your own performance today, what are you going to take from that into the second leg?
AH: We created some quite alright chances. When we owned the ball a bit higher up the pitch we created those one-two combinations, and that’s what we didn’t manage to do enough today. Setting up those two-against-one squares; we love playing one-two, one-two, and we didn’t manage to do that 100 percent. That’s our quality as well. At the same time, I wanted the balls behind them (Man City’s defence), because you saw they were quite tired in the end and we had still something left. All in all, there’s something to take with us and something to work on.
SK: And have you enjoyed being here in Manchester? Have you had any time or just been straight into preparing for the game?
AH: It was sunny! It was really sunny so we were happy with that. Last year it was sunny when we played as well. I like England and I feel people are quite friendly here. I always like travelling with the team, we always have a great time together, so it’s been cool. We’d love to have some goals to take home, but we’re gonna score some next weekend.