Chelsea humbled by Barcelona in Champions League final
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Chelsea’s bid to win the Women’s Champions League for the first time in the club’s history ended in misery following a 4-0 defeat by Barcelona in Sunday’s final.
Emma Hayes’ Blues became the first English side to reach the European showpiece since Arsenal won the competition 14 years ago.
But her side were who avenged their 4-1 final defeat to Lyon in 2019 to claim their own maiden Champions League title.
Chelsea’s Melanie Leupolz put through her own net after just 33 seconds in Gothenburg before Alexia Putellas doubled Barcelona’s advantage from the penalty spot 14 minutes later.
Aitana Bonmati added a third after 20 minutes, with Caroline Graham Hansen tapping home a fourth for the Spanish side nine minutes before the interval as the match was all but wrapped up before half-time.
Hayes kept faith with the same players that beat Bayern Munich 4-1 in the second leg of their semi-final clash earlier this month.
But were left facing a mountain to climb inside the opening minute following a blistering start by their opponents.
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Lieke Martens’ spectacular effort rattled the crossbar with just 25 seconds gone and when the Blues failed to clear their lines the ball struck Leupolz and looped in over Ann-Katrin Berger’s head.
Chelsea appeared overawed by the occasion and almost conceded again moments later when Jenni Hermoso dragged her shot wide.
In a chaotic opening to the final, the Blues could have drawn level with Pernille Harder wasting two promising opportunities.
And they were made to rue the missed openings when Hermoso was blocked off in the box and referee Riem Hussein pointed to the spot.
Putellas sent Berger the wrong way to score her side’s second and it was to get even worse for the Londoners six minutes later when Barcelona struck again.
Martens’ pass found Hermoso who played in Bonmati to score past a helpless Berger.
In 2019, Barcelona conceded four times inside 30 minutes on their way to a humbling 4-1 final defeat. But on Sunday, it was their turn to score four times in the opening period.
After 36 minutes, Martens raced into the box, keeping Niamh Charles at bay before pulling the ball back for Graham Hansen who made no mistake for Barcelona’s fourth, and ultimately final blow.
Hayes’ side emerged for the second half displaying a resolute determination but despite seeing plenty of the ball they were unable to find a consolation on a sobering evening.
The defeat ends Chelsea’s quadruple bid, a week after they sealed the Women’s Super League title with a 5-0 victory over Reading.
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