Lyon defeats holders Barcelona 3 – 1 to win the women’s Champions League


Lyon won their seventh Champions League trophy with a great triumph over tournament favorites Barcelona in a thrilling final in Turin.

Lyon celebrate with the Champions League trophy

The French team entered the game as underdogs against a Barcelona team that had never lost once in a season that included a perfect La Liga title campaign.

But the most decorated team in women’s soccer got out to a flying start, pushing high and tearing apart the Catalans to take a 3-0 halftime lead.

Amandine Henry scored a spectacular long-range goal, which was doubled by a header from Ada Hegerberg, who was making her comeback to Europe’s greatest stage after a 20-month injury layoff.

The Norwegian forward then switched roles, setting up Catarina Macario for a close-range finish that stunned Barca.

Alexia Putellas, the current Ballon d’Or winner, gave Barcelona hope with a low finish right before the break, her 33rd goal of the season and 11th in the Champions League.

Jonatan Giraldez’s team then put everything they had at Lyon, including an audacious shot from Patricia Guijarro from close to halfway that smacked the crossbar, but Lyon held fast to recapture the European title they had last held in 2020.

Ada Hegerberg dives in to score against Barcelona

Many expected before kick-off that Saturday’s match would be a symbolic passing of the torch in women’s European football, from a Lyon side that dominated in the 2010s to a Barcelona team that had swept off practically all rivals in the last two years, including Chelsea in the final last year.

In front of 32,257 supporters at Juventus’ Allianz Arena, Barcelona could not equal the French side for intensity, aggression, and tactical skill, despite arriving in Turin with a competitive record of 41 victories and just one defeat in 2021-22.

Sonia Bompastor’s team, led by Champions League record scorer Hegerberg, exploited their opponents’ defensive frailties while keeping the Catalan side’s prolific assault at bay to take full control of the match.

Henry’s goal was the best of the lot, a 25-yard arrow into the top corner after she had recovered from a ball-winning tackle. Hegerberg, on the other hand, was the most consistent threat.

She could have duplicated her feat of scoring a hat-trick in the first half the last time these two faced in the Champions League final – three years ago, when Lyon won 4-1.

Instead, Hegerberg opted for a single header – bringing her tournament goal total to 59 in 60 games – and an assist for Macario, establishing a gap that was too great to overcome, even for a Barcelona team that had outscored their opponents 159-11 to win their domestic league by 24 points.

Hegerberg, who also hit the post with a shot in injury time, added, “It’s team work, team work all day long, baby.” “I’m incredibly pleased of my incredible teammates. It wasn’t easy to win this one this year.

“Resilience and hard effort are inspiring. Let’s keep this continuing, because I’m only 26.”

Even though Putellas is widely regarded as the best player in the world and a constant source of motivation for this Barcelona team, this was beyond her abilities.

She did her part, scoring in the 41st minute to give the team hope, although she was closely guarded in midfield.

In a last 15 minutes spent nearly entirely in Lyon’s half, Putellas had plenty of possession, but the French team prevailed thanks to some tenacious defending and misses from Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic and Irene Paredes.

It was a significant personal achievement for Bompastor, who became the first woman to win the Champions League as both a player and a manager. The 41-year-old former midfielder was a key member of Lyon’s 2011 and 2012 championship teams.

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