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No one said it was going to be easy given Olympique Lyonnais Féminin’s pedigree in Europe’s premier women’s football club competition. Lyon came out of the blocks quickly, taking a 0-3 first half lead through Henry, Hegerburg, and Macario, before Alexia got one back before the break.
Barça Women didn’t give up throughout the second half, but Lyon sat in and a combination of solid defending and stoppages saw out the game much to the disappointment of the thousands of Barça fans that made the trip to Turin. Final score 1-3 and Barça confirmed as Uefa Women's Champions League runners-up.
Both coaches sent out strong line-ups, full of internationals. Barça were in their familiar 4-3-3 formation, while Lyon set up in a 4-2-3-1.
Lyon lash in early goals
The game began frenetically, Lyon snapping into tackles and not letting Barça settle on the ball. One such tackle on 6 minutes by Henry saw the ball break loose and she promptly got up and curled an unstoppable shot into the top right corner of the goal for 0-1, leaving Paños no chance.
Barça were finding space down the flanks, Aitana crossing for Hermoso to shoot, with Engler saving on 10 minutes, before Rolfö put a dangerous ball in from the left on 15 minutes that the Lyon defence cleared.
Lyon striker Hegerburg cut a lonely figure up front as the plan was clearly to prevent Barça’s passing game in the opposition half. However, they always looked threatening on the break, Hansen having to make a great tackle on the 22nd minute in a warning of what was to come. A 1-2 between Malard and Bacha a minute later led to a super cross that reached Hegerburg who had peeled off at the far post, scoring a header to make it 0-2 after 23 minutes.
Barça were looking somewhat unsettled in defence, and Paños was quick to come out and smother at one point, before a melee in the box dropped to Hegerburg who crossed for Macario to tap in at the far post for 0-3 on 33 minutes.
The response came in the form of a great finish by Alexia after 41 minutes. Rolfö cut in from the left, had a shot, the ball fell to Hansen who crossed from the right, and there was the skipper arriving in the box to slot the ball past Endler. Game on!
Valiant second-half effort
Oshoala came on for Hermoso at half-time, but Lyon remained dangerous on the counter through the pacy Cascarino. Patri almost scored a wonderful goal on 58 minutes. Mapi León dispossessed Macario with a strong challenge, before Patri instantly chipped Engler from distance but unfortunately hit the bar.
Coach Jonatan Giráldez then gambled by throwing on more attack-minded players in Martens and Crnogorčević, and shortly afterwards Rolfö hit the side netting with a shot from the left after good work in the middle by Aitana.
Barça pushed up, they had to nothing to lose, but Lyon were looking to slow the game down, even leading to a booking for timewasting after 64 minutes. The rest of the game was punctured by stoppages for injuries and fatigue, a major source of frustration for everyone FC Barcelona inclined.
The attacks continued as Lyon retreated to protect their lead, Crnogorčević and Oshoala both had shots that went wide. Paredes headed over after being pushed up the pitch as an auxiliary attacker, but the final whistle blew soon after and this marvellous team had to accept finishing runners-up in this year’s competition. Thanks for all the wonderful moments, we are proud of you!
FC Barcelona Women, 1
Olympique Lyonnais Féminin, 3
FC Barcelona Women: Paños, Torrejón (Crnogorcevic, 59'), Paredes, Mapi León, Rolfö (Pina, 75'), Aitana, Patri Guijarro, Alexia, Graham Hansen, Jenni Hermoso (Oshoala, 46'), Mariona (Martens, 59').
Olympique Lyonnais Féminin: Endler, Carpenter (Buchanan, 14'), Renard, Mbock (Cayman, 81'), Bacha, Horan, Henry, Macario, Cascarino (Morroni, 81'), Hegerberg, Malard (Le Sommer, 73').
Goals: 0-1, Henry (min. 6); 0-2, Hegerberg (min. 23); 0-3, Macario (min. 33); 1-3, Alexia (min. 41).
Referee: Lina Lehtovaara. Yellow cards for Mapi León and Paredes from Barça, and Hegerberg, Macario, and Morroni from Lyon.
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