Competition Focus

Barcelona 2-0 Lyon: Aitana Bonmati and Alexia Putellas seal Women’s Champions League crown and historic quadruple


Barcelona sealed their third UEFA Women’s Champions League trophy and retained the title for the first time in their history with a 2-0 win over Lyon in Bilbao.

Aitana Bonmati opened the scoring on 63 minutes as she slotted home after being slid through by Maria Caldentey, giving departing manager Jonatan Giraldez the perfect parting gift.

Alexia Putellas, Barca’s all-time leading goalscorer and injury-riddled captain, rose off the bench in the dying embers to double their advantage late on, sweeping home left-footed and celebrating with her shirt over head and a bow to her adoring fans.

It was, however, a bittersweet end to Sonia Bompastor’s reign as Lyon boss, with the club losing to Barca for the first time in their history.

The win was thoroughly deserved, with the Catalans playing the better football throughout, buoyed by their midfield maestro Bonmati and their dangerous young starlet Salma Paralluelo, who was a thorn in the side of the French champions from her advanced position.

In a game where both sides threw caution to the wind, there were chances aplenty.

Mariona Caldentey saw an effort in the first half cleared off the line, while Lyon captain Wendie Renard lashed over the top when she was afforded too much space in the Barcelona box.

Kadidiatou Diani’s curler was not far away as Lyon sought to restore their foothold in the game, but it was Putellas who stole it at the death, as she so often has done, to seal a stunning quadruple for Giraldez’s Culers.

TALKING POINT – WHERE DO THEY GO FROM HERE?

With both managers in the technical areas leaving for pastures new – Giraldez to Washington Spirit and Bompastor to Chelsea – these juggernauts of women’s football need to look to the future.

What projects do they look to put in place?

Certainly at Barcelona, it will be about keeping the star-riddled squad together and to continue blooding the starlets for the future like Paralluelo, Esmee Brugts, and Claudia Pina, with the latter pair making late substitute cameos.

For Lyon, it is back to the drawing board if they want to add another title to their record-breaking collection.

Lindsay Horan continued to show her class in midfield, while Selma Bacha and Ellie Carpenter are two solid full-backs that are adept going both ways.

Melchie Dumornay is growing into her role as the main striker for the French champions, and the incoming project must be centred around getting the best out of her.

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Alexia y Aitana celebran el gol en la final de la Champions femenina entre el Barcelona y el Lyon

Image credit: Getty Images

PLAYER OF THE MATCH – AITANA BONMATI, BARCELONA

Is she the best midfielder on the planet right now? Probably.

A magical performance from her once again, with her energy, tenacity and intricacy in possession. She is the complete package.

She had the will to chase after her initial pass and receive the return from Caldentey for the crucial opening goal, and she finished coolly – if with a smidge of fortune – to put her side in the ascendancy.

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Aitana Bonmatí (Barcelona)

Image credit: Getty Images

PLAYER RATINGS

Barcelona: Coll 7, Bronze 7, Paredes 7, Engen 7, Rolfo 6, Bonmati 8, Walsh 6, Guijarro 6, Hansen 6, Paralluelo 7, Caldentey 7. Subs: Battle 7, Brugts 6, Putellas 7, Pina 6.

Lyon: Endler 6, Carpenter 7, Gilles 7, Renard 6, Bacha 7, Horan 7, Egurrola 6, van de Donk 6, Diani 6, Dumornay 6, Cascarino 6. Subs: Majri 6, Becho 6, Hegerberg 6.

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

28’: OFF THE LINE! How have Barcelona not scored? Lindsey Horan loses the ball on the edge of the box as Mariona Caldentey snatches it off her and drives into the box. Her shot from close range is saved at the near post, but the ball ricochets off Horan and towards goal, only for Selma Bacha to poke the ball away on the line. Lyon are living dangerously!

49’: CLOSE! It’s delivered into the box flat, and knocked down by Horan with a backheel, but the centre-back lashes over in plenty of space!

63’: GOAL! BARCELONA 1-0 LYON (BONMATI) It’s there, and it’s Aitana Bonmati for Barcelona! Barca break the deadlock, and it’s their little midfield maestro who’s stepped up. Ellie Carpenter gets caught out positionally, and she takes it from Caldentey on the run. She strikes left-footed, Gilles slides in, and it hits the central defender to take it beyond Endler!

78’: CLOSE! Diani cuts in off the right and looks for the curler into the far corner with her left. It’s not far away, just over the top.

90+6’: GOAL! BARCELONA 2-0 LYON (PUTELLAS) Would you believe it! It’s her, and she’s only just come on! Alexia Putellas seals it, and she celebrates with a bow. Lyon were caught threadbare at the back, and Barcelona’s record goalscorer swept it high into the roof of the net to make it two.

KEY STAT

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