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Barcelona

Lyon win eighth Champions League crown after first-half flurry overwhelms Barcelona


Lyon’s ferocious first-half foray led them to victory over Barcelona setting a new record of eight Champions League triumphs in the process.

The French side took the lead in the sixth minute from a remarkable 30-yard drive from Amandine Henry which ricocheted in off the post leaving Sandra Panos with no chance.

The lead was doubled by striker Ada Hegerberg heading home Selma Bacha’s fantastic cross from the left flank, and the Norwegian turned provider for the third just after the half-hour mark when she crossed low for Catarina Macario to blast home at the second attempt from close range.

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The defending champions were given a lifeline by skipper Alexia Putellas’ smart volley from Caroline Graham Hansen’s cross four minutes before the break, but they could not get any closer to levelling the score in the second half. Patri’s remarkable shot from inside the centre circle had goalkeeper Christiane Endler beaten, but it came back off the crossbar.

Much was made of a potential changing of the guard and the end of Lyon’s decade-long dominance of the woman’s game after PSG knocked them out of last season’s Champions League and pipped them to Division 1 title while Barcelona romped to the Champions League, but this incredible side showed at the Juventus Stadium they have no intention of losing their status as the number one team in the women’s game.

TALKING POINT

So close to a great moment – It may not have changed the complexity of the game and Lyon’s eventual triumph, even if it would have given the last half-hour much more jeopardy, but Patri’s effort from just inside the Lyon half would stand proudly alongside Zinedine Zidane and Gareth Bale as one of the great Champions League final goals if it had been inches lower. While goals from near the halfway line are becoming fairly commonplace, there has not been a truer connection than the one the Spanish midfielder made with the ball as it lofted over the Lyon goalkeeper and heartbreakingly came back off the woodwork rather than deflect into the net.

PLAYER OF THE MATCH

Selma Bacha (Lyon) – She had a fantastic tussle with Caroline Graham Hansen, who herself put in a creditable display but the forward thrust of the left back was of such pivotal importance to the momentum of the game in the first half, when ultimately the battle was won. Crucially she set up the second goal with a picture perfect left-wing cross. The 21-year-old, who has shifted between midfield and full back for much of the season, has just the four French caps to her name but will surely feature strongly in the European Championships in the summer.

PLAYER RATINGS

Barcelona: Panos 6; Marta Torrejon 6, Irene Paredes 5, Mapi Leon 6, Rolfo 5; Bonmati 6, Patri 7, Putellas 7; Graham Hansen 7, Mariona Caldentey 6, Hermoso 6.

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Subs: Oshoala 7, Martens 6, Crnogocevic 6, Pina 6.

Lyon: Endler 6; Carpenter 6, Renard 7, Mbock 6, Bacha 8*; Henry 7, Macario 7, Horan 6; Cascarino 6, Malard 6; Hegerberg 7.

Subs: Buchanan 7, Le Sommer 6, Morroni 6, Cayman 6.

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

6′ GOAL FOR LYON! What a strike from Henry. She tackled Putellas 30 yards from goal then got up and with no one closing her down launched a rocket which flew in off the post giving Panos no chance.

23′ GOAL FOR LYON! The lead is doubled. And no surprise the source is Hegerberg. She heads home Bacha’s perfect cross from the left flank.

33′ GOAL FOR LYON! There is a third! Macario taps in after Malard caused havoc in the box and Hegerberg’s low ball to the back post found the American who had time to hit the post then ensure the ball went over the line by smashing into the net.

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41′ GOAL FOR BARCELONA! Putellas times her run perfectly and turns home Hansen’s cross on the volley low past Endler.

58′ WHAT AN EFFORT! Patri shot from inside the centre circle and it had Endler beaten but came back off the crossbar to safety.

KEY STAT

  • 1 – Sonia Bompastor becomes the first woman to win the Champions League as a player and coach.

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