Barcelona have made history as they become the first Spanish club in history to win the Women’s Champions League.
As the final drew in, all eyes turned to Gothenburg where Chelsea and Barca would meet. As two of the most dominant forces in women’s football competed for the trophy, the game promised to be spectacular.
Chelsea were announced as Women’s Super League champions last weekend, finishing just two points above rivals Manchester City.
Barcelona conceded just five goals throughout the Primera Division season. They have been formidable in their league, not dropping a single point all season before lifting the 2020/21 title.
Panos; Torrejon, Guijarro, Maria Leon, Ouahabi, Bonmati, Hamraoui, Putellas, Hanson, Hermosa, Martens
Berger; Carter, Bright, Eriksson, Charles, Leupolz, Ji, Ingle, Kirby, Kerr, Harder
How it went
With not even a minute on the clock, Barcelona were in front. Lieke Martens rattled the crossbar and seconds later, the first goal was in the back of the Chelsea net.
Melanie Leupolz was the victim of an unfortunate ricochet that led to an own goal which the No.8 could do nothing about.
Alexia Putellas neatly tucked a penalty away in the 14th minute to double Barcelona’s lead. Chelsea seemed to be struggling to find their footing as Barca’s relentless press pushed them further and further towards Ann Katrin Berger’s net.
Lluis Cortes’ side oozed class as just six minutes later, Aitana Bonmatí made it three, leaving Chelsea to watch the game run further and further away from them.
Emma Hayes’ side did have chances on goal, however their usual attacking trio seemed unable to put too much pressure on Sandra Paños in the Barca goal.
The Spanish side made it four before the half time whistle, when Caroline Graham Hansen beat a raft of Chelsea defenders to put the game almost beyond doubt.Embed from Getty Images
The second half brought a revived English side. Chelsea seemed to find their footing and began pressing the Spanish defence. Emma Hayes’ team however couldn’t seem to shake their unsteadiness in defence as their players were frequently passed by the Barca attackers.
By the 85th minute, it had become more obvious that Chelsea’s lack of accuracy in front of goal was causing them issues, with the WSL side having had more shots on goal despite failing to find the back of the Spanish sides net.
Despite the comfortable scoreline, Barcelona refused to ease the pressure on their opponents. Every Chelsea attack was swiftly cleared and a counter-attack would usually follow almost instantly. The game finished 4-0 with the Spanish giants barely breaking stride across the 90 minutes.Embed from Getty Images
Stand out performance
Maria Leon had a command of the Barca defence from the first to the final whistle. Her leadership in the backline along with her clearances whenever Chelsea sprung an attack made her formidable.
Whenever it appeared that Chelsea were going to claw their way back into the game, the Barca No.4 was there to ensure that could not happen. Barcelona’s defence allowed their team an easy passage to the trophy and Leon played no small part in this.
The 25-year-old’s defensive skill allowed her side to keep Chelsea’s formidable attack at bay across the game.