Women’s Champions League: How Lyon bullied Barcelona to reclaim European crown

Lyon lift the trophy
Lyon have gained a file 8 Women’s Champions League trophies

It is not frequently a group who have received five of the preceding 6 Women’s Champions League finals are regarded underdogs. But Lyon were against Barcelona – and they proved why it was silly to underestimate them.

Barcelona, relaxed winners in 2021, raced to the remaining in amazing design and style and had been hoping to defend their crown in Turin, even though also receiving revenge for their 4-1 defeat to Lyon 3 decades in the past.

But the French giants – document holders in the levels of competition – had other thoughts.

It was like masters versus learners in Italy as Lyon confirmed why they have dominated European soccer for the earlier decade by winning their eighth title in ruthless manner.

England goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain advised ITV 4: “Lyon did accurately what Barcelona don’t like. They pressed them superior up the pitch and they did not enable them get into their rhythm.

“They stood up and they showed Barcelona precisely what they ended up made of. We observed some of the interviews pre-match. They stated, ‘look, we’re champions, we’re the men and women who ought to have to be on the trophy, we are the kinds who have earned to carry it at the conclusion of the game’.

“They lived up to the hype. Sometimes you can discuss the discuss, but you’ve bought to wander the walk as very well – and that is specifically what they did.”

Lyon had been 3- up inside 33 minutes as they blew Barcelona away.

This was a Spanish side who had misplaced just once all season – that staying the 2nd leg of their semi-remaining with Wolfsburg right after they had taken a 5-1 direct in the initially leg.

Amandine Henry established the tone with a spectacular extended-assortment strike to set Lyon 1- up in 6 minutes.

“Against Chelsea in past year’s last Barcelona definitely went at them and that sport was over in the initially fifty percent. This time it was whether they could reside up to a crew coming out and taking part in versus them – the reply was no,” added previous England forward Rachel Yankey on ITV4.

“Barcelona will go absent sensation seriously unhappy for the reason that the one particular detail you want to do when you get to a ultimate is carry out and I never consider they did. I think, mentally, the strain got to them.”

Former England defender Anita Asante extra: “Lyon brought the intensity early on in the activity and they said, ‘we’re right here to play a final’. Barcelona were not definitely equipped to match up to that each physically and mentally.”

Alexia Putellas
Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas lifted the Champions League for the initially time with Barcelona past period

The remaining was also teed up as a struggle concerning two of football’s greatest gamers – Lyon’s Ada Hegerberg and Barcelona’s Alexia Putellas.

It was inevitable then that the two would score, but it was Hegerberg – the inaugural winner of the Women’s Ballon d’Or – who eventually came out on top as she scored Lyon’s 2nd and established up a third for Catarina Macario.

The Norway striker had haunted Barcelona in advance of, when she scored a hat-trick in that 4-1 last accomplishment in 2019, before struggling a really serious knee injuries that would keep her out for extra than 20 months.

“We let the soccer chat. It really is section of the sport, it is really entirely usual to chat about Barcelona. They were being the final winners,” stated Hegerberg, 26.

“Barcelona are a wonderful group, but we failed to doubt our features. We usually stayed incredibly focused on how to attack this match. We knew there would be spaces and we took our probabilities incredibly nicely.”

Putellas’ objective just before 50 percent-time threatened a comeback but the Barcelona captain could not encourage her staff to victory as she so often has in advance of.

Lyon’s working experience shone by and their leaders bullied Barcelona with activity management – jogging down the clock at any possibility, thwarting Barcelona’s attempts to gain rhythm and annoying the crowd.

Ada Hegerberg
Ada Hegerberg has scored 6 targets in Women’s Champions League finals

In the conclude, it was the familiar sight of Lyon captain Wendie Renard lifting the trophy for a sixth time.

“Lyon have an unbelievable spirit, energy and mentality. They were virtually prepared off simply because all people was chatting about Barcelona,” stated ex-Arsenal striker Ian Wright.

“Lyon got on with it when all people was contacting them the underdogs. They’ve won it so many instances and they’re being identified as underdogs… They applied that.”

Former England striker Lianne Sanderson extra: “It can be one particular factor successful it a few moments but profitable above very long durations is challenging to do. These Lyon players should have it.”

Barcelona mentor Jonatan Giraldez explained the defeat to Lyon “harm”, but this one probably stung far more than standard.

“Each and every defeat hurts, but we realized this was a pretty important one as it was the opportunity to change background in our favour.”

Hegerberg additional: “Soccer is refreshing, it really is all about the future move.”

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