Women's Champions League: Lyon achieves the big eight after their victory against Barcelona

Women’s Champions League: Lyon achieves the big eight after their victory against Barcelona

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The Lyonnaises celebrate their victory, Saturday May 21, 2022.

Olympique Lyonnais (OL) roars again. In 2021, FC Barcelona ended Lyon’s streak of five crowns in a row. In Turin, Sonia Bompastor’s players regained their continental throne by defeating the Spanish (3-1), a victory synonymous with an eighth Champions League in OL history.

“Winning against OL would be the perfect movie”, Catalan star Alexia Putellas said before the match. And if the Barcelona fans widely won the battle for decibels in the streets of Turin and in the stands of Juventus Stadium, it was Lyon who dictated the setting for the match.

Relive the direct: Football: Lyonnaise win the Champions League after their victory against Barcelona

Below the Piedmontese dodger (more than 30 degrees on the thermometer), Amandine Henry took charge of the first conditioning of the match (6th), with a shot from the right into the skylight in front of the Catalan kop. A flash before the start of a great streak of possession and dominance by Jonatan Giraldez’s players. The idea was to put pressure on them from the kick-off. We knew that by marking we were going to hit them in the neck. It allowed us to build confidence to string together goals, even if we suffered. They are very strong technically and we were very lucky to be so successful.” After the match, she deciphered the first scorer, the player of the match trophy in her hands.

The ‘Femeni’ coach wanted his ‘revenge’ after the defeat in the same stage of the competition in 2019 (1-4). Nothing happened, although striker Jennifer Hermoso had two equalizer balls. The first in a left-footed shot from close range deflected with a firm hand by goalkeeper Christiane Endler (11th) and then another cut in the bud by a saving entry by Selma Bacha from five meters, preventing the Blaugrana number 10 from relaunching the partial (16th). The reigning three-time champions of Spain have never negated their principles of play, with rushing passes and quick transitions sometimes testing Lyon’s defence.

Hegerberg’s winning comeback

But in the queen of competitions, the weight of history plays a considerable role. Real Madrid -13 times European champion- for men, has shown this this season with three improbable and successive comebacks against Paris, Chelsea and Manchester City. If the scenario was very different at the Juventus Stadium, the Lyon squad, where experience and youth are mixed, knew how to strongly resist the strong moments of their rival, before puncturing brilliantly.

Sonia Bompastor did not fail to remember before kick-off the importance of the new elements. ” Young people bring ardor and that is also our strength. When we are young we do not ask ourselves questions, the challenge and the pressure escapes us and gives us an additional strength developed the coach, who has now become the first to win the Champions League as a player (2011 and 2012) and on the bench.

Carelessness embodied by Selma Bacha. The left back did not hesitate to throw herself at the feet of Alexia Putellas in the area in a hot situation in the first half or to try clean climbs in her thirty meters. A player trained since her debut at the OL Academy by Sonia Bompastor, and who takes on a new dimension within the first team.

Before seeing his daring rewarded with a perfect cross over the head of Hegerberg (23rd). The striker became a passer in Catarina Macario’s third goal. A great prize for the Norwegian, the first Golden Ball in history in 2018, and that she lived two years complicated by injuries to her right knee and then to her left tibia, she who “ I couldn’t imagine being in the final last year “. The technique does not hide his admiration for his number 14: “It’s a work force on its own. She is exemplary. She had to work hard to get back on level tonight. She allowed us in terms of leadership to put on a good face against Barcelona. »

Putellas, however, remained hopeful.

For the Catalans, the local icon is called Alexia Putellas, whose flocked shirts flourished as much as Lionel Messi’s throughout the day. The Ballon d’Or 2021 largely earned the meter of applause during the composition of the teams. If the jewel of FC Barcelona did not play his best game, he had the merit of sounding the revolt just before the break, responding to Ada Hegerberg with a beautiful forehand recovery on a perfect service from Caroline Graham Hansen (41′).

Lowering the score that revived the interest of the match in a second act dominated by the Spaniards, who almost returned the goal in a forty-meter shot by Patri Guijarro that hit the crossbar (58th). From behind, the Lyonnais knew how to break the rhythm, between tactical fouls, substitutions and saving time.

And if Lyon made the big eight, this poster that opposed two different styles of play offered a formidable showcase for European women’s football, capable of offering infallible intensity throughout ninety minutes, in an environment worthy of a great continental summit .

A good omen before Euro 2022, which should bring together a large part of the players present in Turin. Meanwhile, Lyonnaises and Catalanes still have titles to win. For Barça, a victory in the Copa de la Reina would complete the national title already acquired.

As for the now eight-time European champions Lyon, a point would allow them to retake the French championship, abandoned last year in Paris-Saint-Germain. To prolong the roar.

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