Lyon win 8th Champions League title
Lyon win 8th Champions League title

Lyon win 8th Women’s Champions League title after a dominating first half against Barcelona. Amandine Henry with a screamer, Ada Hegerberg and Catarina Macario scored for Lyon’s return to the European throne. Alexia Putellas gave a but of hope to Barcelona at the end of the first half, but the Catalans were unable to find a way to the French goal more than once.

Women’s Champions League Final (preview)

Saturday, 21st of May

Barcelona – Olympique Lyon 1-3 (1-3)
Scorers: 6′ Amandine Henry (L), 23′ Ada Hegerberg (L), 33′ Catarina Macario (L), 41′ Alexia Putellas (B)
Yellow cards: 33′ Mapi Leon (B), 45+3′ Ada Hegerberg (L), 64′ Catarina Macario (L), 85′ Irene Paredes (B), 90+4′ Perle Morroni (L)

1st half

In an electric atmosphere at Juventus Stadium, Lyon kicked-off with the best possible start. In the 6th minute, Amandine Henry first gained the possession with a sliding tackle and after two touches sent a wonderful screamer from 30 meters in the top left Sandra Panos’ corner. Marvellous strike and contender for the goal of the season.

The game continued in a fast-paced rhythm. In the 11th minute, Barcelona was close to an equalizer, but Cristiane Endler kept Jennifer Hermoso’s shot from the close distance out. In the 13th minute, a final experience came to an end for Ellie Carpenter, who was taken off the field on stretchers following her injury. Barcelona pressured Lyon high and took the initiative. In the 15th minute, Fridolina Rolfo sent a low cross in the centre, where Hermoso was waiting for a tap-in, but Selma Bacha prevented that with great defending. Despite Blaugrana having more of the game, it was Lyon who scored again. After a combination on the left side, Bacha sent a floating cross who flew over Barcelona’s defence on the Ada Hegerberg’s head. The Women’s Champions League all-time top scorer didn’t have a hard job doubling the lead. The Catalans just couldn’t catch a break. After just over half an hour, they were already 0-3 down. Confusion in the area led to Barcelona’s Irene Paredes passing directly to the feet of Melvine Malard. The French forward passed to Hegerberg who sent a low cross to the far post, where Catarina Macario finished with a simple tap-in. The record champions could add another one just minutes later, but Sandra Panos kept her team in the game with a wonderful save of Hegerberg’s curve shot. Blaugrana came back to life in the 41st minute. Caroline Graham Hansen crossed from the right side, Kadeisha Buchanan slipped at the worst possible moment, leaving a free path for Alexia, who finished with a low volley.

After four minutes of extra time, a wonderful showcase of the women’s football in the first half came to an end. Against the odds, Lyon was in the lead, dominating Barcelona in the first half with great efficiency, not allowing them to establish their typical game until very late. But thanks to Alexia’s goal, the final was still far from over.

2nd half

Second half continued in a very high tempo from the both teams. Lyon was still causing Barcelona a lot of problems in their build-up phase with a high pressure. Jonatan Girรกldez refreshed his offensive line with Azizat Oshoala, who replaced Jennifer Hermoso. In the 58th minute, Patri Guijarro noticed that Endler is off her line, went for a goal with a long-range lob from inside the circle, the Chilean goalkeeper was already beaten but crossbar prevented another screamer from going in. Lyon gradually slowed the pace of the game down, dropped deeper and allowed the Spanish champions to get more of their passing game but they were still unable to come through the compact French defence. Unused of being behind, Barcelona players were getting increasingly nervous by 5-time consecutive Women’s Champions League winners time wasting. Ana Maria Crnogorcevic had a great chance to close the gap but her half-volley went just wide. Time was running out for the reigning champions who were able to come closer to the Lyon’s box but still failed to get any clear shots towards the target. And after seven minutes of extra time, Lyon players were able to start their 8th Women’s Champions League title celebrations!

The fans at Juventus stadium were able to witness one of the greatest Women’s Champions League finals of all times. Although majority of them were cheering for Barcelona and left the stadium disappointed, Lyon deservingly won their 8th title with a tactical masterpiece from Sonia Bompastor, which cut Barcelona from their typical game.

A record-breaking season of the best Women’s Football competition truly ended in the most remarkable way!

 

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