Barcelona 2-0 Lyon: Ballon d'Or winners on target to seal Champions League triumph

By Sports Desk May 25, 2024 219

Barcelona sealed a quadruple as they clinched their third Women's Champions League title by beating fellow European heavyweights Lyon 2-0.

Aitana Bonmati and Alexia Putellas, both Ballon d'Or winners, with Barca's heroes in Bilbao on Saturday.

Bonmati opened the scoring in the 63rd minute and, after surviving an onslaught of Lyon pressure, Barca made sure of a famous victory in stoppage time – Putellas lashing home with her left foot after a sweeping counter-attack.

It marks Barca's first-ever win over Lyon, as they became the first team since Arsenal in 2007 to win four trophies in a single season.

Lyon and Barca went into Saturday's final in Bilbao having scored 70 goals between them in this season's Champions League.

Yet it was a cagey first half, with Barca's Caroline Graham Hansen looking the most likely to spark the match into life.

That changed just after the hour when Bonmati, last year's Ballon d'Or winner, saw a close-range cross-shot divert in off the unfortunate Vanessa Gilles, after a slick move had put the Spain international through down the left-hand side of the area.

Lyon, the eight-time European champions, could have found themselves 2-0 down soon after, but Selma Bacha made a vital challenge to deny Graham Hansen what would have been a deserved goal.

The French giants aimed to make their defender's good work count, with substitute Ada Hegerberg entering the fray.

Hegerberg, the all-time leading scorer in the Women's Champions League headed over from her best chance, as Barca's defenders – and goalkeeper Catalina Coll, who took a nasty hit to the head – fought stoically to clear their lines.

And Lyon's hopes were extinguished as another fine Barca move saw the ball worked back to Putellas in the area, and she unleashed an unstoppable effort into the roof of the net.

Quadruple queens

For the first time in 17 years, and the first time since the rebranding of the Women's Champions League, a team has won three domestic trophies and the European crown.

This Barca side, coached by Jonatan Giraldez, are a special bunch. 

They have scored 129 goals in Liga F this season, winning 27 of their 28 games and drawing the other, conceding just nine times, and now they have a third Champions League title in the space of four years.

Bonmati and Putellas, their Ballon d'Or-winning duo, served up the key moments, but the whole team delivered a stellar performance to finally end their hoodoo against Lyon.

Bompastor bows out?

Lyon boss Sonia Bompastor is expected to join Chelsea ahead of next season, as the Blues' replacement for the departing Emma Hayes.

The 43-year-old has had an incredible tenure at Lyon, winning the Division 1 Feminine on three occasions and the Champions League in 2021-22.

Despite falling short at the final hurdle this time, she will leave a club legend.

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Last modified on Saturday, 25 May 2024 14:17
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