The finish was dramatic, the conclusion familiar: we review the 2014/15 UEFA Women's Champions Leagaue as 1. FFC Frankfurt took their fourth title.
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The finish was dramatic but the conclusion familiar: 1. FFC Frankfurt won the 2014/15 UEFA Women's Champions League final with a an added-time goal against Paris Saint-Germain to clinch a record fourth title, and Germany's ninth in 14 editions.
Inaugural UEFA Women's Cup winners in 2002, Frankfurt added two more triumphs in 2006 and 2008 but then found themselves eclipsed at home and in Europe, comfortably beaten 2-0 in the 2012 final in Munich by Olympique Lyonnais. Three years on the decider was again in Germany and this time, at a sold-out Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark in Berlin, Frankfurt got the better of French opposition.
Frankfurt, absent for the last two seasons as VfL Wolfsburg twice took the title, strolled to the decider with 40 goals scored and two conceded, including seven straight clean sheets. Paris, who had never before made the last eight, had the much tougher route.
In the round of 16 they ousted domestic nemeses Lyon with a 1-0 second-leg win at Stade de Gerland after a 1-1 home draw. And after seeing off maiden Scottish quarter-finalists Glasgow City FC, Paris became the first team ever to beat Wolfsburg in Europe, winning 2-0 away prior to a nervy 2-1 home defeat.
Perhaps crucially Paris lost Caroline Seger to suspension for Berlin, 12 months after she tasted final defeat with Tyresö FF alongside Verónica Boquete, who lined up for Frankfurt. And the German side dominated the opening stages of the final.
After 32 minutes, Frankfurt took the lead with a far-post header by Célia Šašić, who thereby in her debut European campaign equalled the competition single-season goal record of 14. Against the run of play, Paris levelled eight minutes later, Kenza Dali creating a goal for Marie-Laure Delie.
iThe second half was far more level and extra time loomed. But two minutes into added time substitute Mandy Isacker became the unlikely Frankfurt hero, brilliantly swivelling to loop in a half-volley.
In Colin Bell, whose sweeper system was key to stifling Paris's attacking thrust, Frankfurt have the first Englishman to coach a winning team in any UEFA Champions League for men or women. Bell told UEFA.com: "We did everything tactically very well, the attitude was just fantastic – we ran our hearts out."