Lyon beat Barcelona to win the Women’s Champions League
It is frequently stated that the hardest part is not getting to the top but remaining there, and Barcelona is a prime illustration of this.
The Blaugrana lost their continental title in Turin after falling 3-1 to Lyon in the Women’s Champions League final, a match by the French team!
It was the ninth victory for the French team, who reigned supreme in Europe two years ago.
Many expected before the game that it would be a symbolic passing of the torch in women’s European football, from a Lyon squad that dominated in the 2010s to a Barcelona club that had swept off practically all rivals in the previous two years, including Chelsea in last year’s final.
Despite arriving in Turin with a competitive record of 41 victories and one defeat in 2021-22, Barcelona simply couldn’t equal the French side in terms of attention, aggression, and tactical no us in front of 32,257 supporters at Juventus’ Allianz Arena.
Story of the match
Lyon came out on top, pushing their opponents off the ball and forcing them to run rather than play. Amandine Henry opened the scoring in the first half with a right-footed shot from outside the box that sailed into the top corner.
The French team attempted to end the game with a game of time-wasting and wanton fouls. Lyon’s intentions were unaffected by Ellie Carpenter’s injury, which forced her to leave the field on a stretcher, and they rallied to the point where they were able to expand their lead in the middle of the first half.
Ada Hegerberg, the Champions League’s all-time leading scorer, scored the goal.
Another defensive failure, this time by Irene Paredes, allowed Hegerberg to cross and locate Catarina Macario, who simply needed to push it over the line.
If there was any possibility of belief, it was in scoring before halftime, which Barcelona did. Alexia Putellas scored the first goal after Carolina Hansen crossed. It was a goal that propelled her to the tournament’s top scorer, despite she is uninterested in individual accolades unless they are backed by team achievement.
Putellas saw plenty of the ball in a final 15 minutes spent almost exclusively in the Lyon half, but some dogged defending and misses from Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic and Irene Paredes saw the French side over the line.
Barcelona ultimately dominated the statistics in terms of possession, chances on goal, and shots attempted, but numbers are nothing unless they are backed by accuracy!