- Copy link
An incredible start to the Women’s Champions League final saw Lieke Martens hit the crossbar after just 25 seconds, and in the melee that followed, Melanie Leupolz's deflection looped over her stranded goalkeeper, Ann-Katrin Berger, for an extraordinary own goal.
Pernille Harder went close for Chelsea shortly afterwards, whilst Jenni Hermoso was unlucky not to extend the blaugranes lead before there was four minutes on the clock. Harder again was on hand to split Barça’s back four, but some last-ditch defending from Marta Torrejon kept the clean sheet intact.
Another swift break from the Catalans, including some delicious skill from Martens, eventually saw a penalty given after Jenni Hermoso was upended. Alexia Putellas made no mistake with a calmly taken spot-kick (0-2, min 13). After just 20 minutes, Barça had a third thanks to a sensational Aitana Bonmati finish.
Things began to settle down thereafter, with the Blues aiming to get a foothold in a game that was rapidly slipping away from them. Not since 2018 had they been three goals down to any opponent, and Emma Hayes’ side were finding it difficult to keep up with Barça’s sharp passing and superior movement.
Martens was the orchestrator of the fourth goal which came on 35 minutes. A wonderful, penetrative run deep into Chelsea territory set up the easiest of finishes for Caroline Graham Hansen. Pernille Harder, again, was in amongst it just before the break, whilst Ji’s free-kick was saved by Sandra Paños in what was the final action of an absorbing first-half.
Sam Kerr was inches away from converting in the opening exchanges of the second 45, as Chelsea started on the front foot and with much more intensity. Barça simply conserved their energy which allowed the Blues to come onto them more, and Harder would again be Chelsea's protagonist, having another chance with just over 20 to play.
Lluís Cortés’ side didn’t need to extend themselves, and could afford to pick and choose their moments in a game that was being played in a congested midfield. Sub Asisat Oshoala was well tackled when she was about to pull the trigger for a fifth, and she would have a goal ruled out for offside in injury time.
With the win, FC Barcelona have not only become the first club in European football history to lift the Men's and Women's Champions League, but also won the final by the biggest-ever margin.
Remember the names: Sandra Paños, Cata Coll, Gemma Font, Laia Codina, Mapi, Melanie, Torrejón, Leila, Pereira, Crnogorčević, Jana, Losada, Hamraoui, Alexia, Patri, Aitana, Hermoso, Mariona, Graham, Oshoala, Andrea Falcon, Martens and Bruna.
European champions! Força Barça!
- Copy link