Barcelona scored four first-half goals to defeat Chelsea 4-0 and capture the Women’s Champions League on Sunday for the first time.
After taking the lead inside the first minute of the game in Gothenburg, Sweden, through Melanie Leupolz’s own goal, Barcelona never looked back and had all but wrapped up the title by halftime with further goals from Alexia Putellas, Aitana Bonmati and Caroline Graham Hansen.
Having trailed by four goals in its first final two years ago – going on to lose 4-1 to Lyon – Barcelona cruised through the second half to wrap up the biggest winning margin in a final since the Women’s Champions League era began.
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The result also ended Lyon’s reign of dominance in the competition, the French side having been knocked out by Paris Saint-Germain in the quarterfinals after winning five consecutive titles between 2016 and 2020.
Barcelona got off to a flying start when Lieke Martens rattled a shot off the crossbar inside 30 seconds, after which an attempted clearance from Fran Kirby ricocheted off Leupolz and looped into the Chelsea net.
Putellas then doubled the Spanish side’s lead from the penalty spot after Jenni Hermoso had been clipped by Leupolz in the Chelsea box, and got a third after 20 minutes when Bonmati slotted past Chelsea goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger after slick buildup play.
Graham Hansen then added a fourth after 36 minutes when she tapped in Martens’ cross from a storming run down the wing.
Chelsea did have chances throughout the game, with several falling to Pernille Harder, but ultimately had too much ground to make up in the second half.
The focus for Chelsea manager Emma Hayes’ side will now turn to trying to capture another domestic trophy as it bids to add FA Cup success to Women’s Super League and League Cup titles.
“It’s obviously disappointing. We didn’t have the start to the game that we wanted and I think in these types of games against these opponents, you can’t concede sloppy goals. … They had four chances in the first half and put four chances in the back of the net,” Chelsea defender Millie Bright told BT Sport.
Having wrapped up the Spanish league title with eight games to spare, Barcelona can now celebrate European success, becoming the first club whose men’s and women’s sides have both won the Champions League.