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Brilliant Barca blow away Chelsea
 Women's Football UEFA Women's Champions League - 19 May 2021
 
FC Barcelona 4 (Leupolz og 1, Putellas pen 14, Bonmati 20, Hansen 36)
Chelsea 0

Chelsea's hopes of becoming Champions of Europe were left in tatters after being blown away by a stylish Barcelona side in the first half of the Final in Gothenburg.
 
The Blues never recovered after going behind to a somewhat freakish own goal inside 30 seconds and the match was effectively over as a contest after the opening 20 minutes as the Barcelona atoned for their defeat in the Final two years ago, to become the first club to lift both the men's and women's versions of the Champions League.
 
Watched by owner Roman Abramovich from the stands, Chelsea went into the game in confident mood, having secured a second successive WSL title seven days before, but were immediately put on the back foot as it started disastrously. Barcelona went straight on the attack from the kick off and Lieke Martens unleashed a shot from 20 yards which crashed against the bar, Aitana Bonmati's resulting cross was not dealt with and Fran Kirby's attempted clearance cannoned back off Melanie Leupolz and looped back into the net.
 
Chelsea could have been back on level terms as Jess Carter floated a cross into the area from deep for an unmarked Pernille Harder whose shot on the half volley flew over the bar. This was a rare opportunity and the chance for a second goal came as Caroline Graham Hansen - so often a tormentor of English sides in recent years - drove past Carter and into the area and laid off for Jennifer Hermoso, who was caught by the luckless Leupolz and a penalty was awarded. Alexia Putellas stepped up to coolly send Ann-Katrin Berger the wrong way from the spot and the Spanish Champions were two ahead.
 
At this stage, Chelsea were all over the place and Barcelona's slick passing was cutting them to pieces. Martens made a teasing run down the left and after her low cross was cut back by Hermoso, Putellas threaded a superb pass into the path of the onrunning Bonmati who skipped past Carter's challenge before planting a low shot inside the far corner.
 
With Kheira Hamraoui pulling the strings in midfield, Barcelona continued to look strong going forward with Putellas dragging a shot wide. Chelsea did carve out an opportunity as Sam Kerr chased down a ball over the top from Ji So-Yun and lifted over the advancing Sandra Panos but wide of the target.
 
Barcelona immediately went back on the attack with Martens powering down the left with a searing run which took her past Niamh Charles and to the goal line, where she squared it to give Hansen the simplest of finishes from point blank range for the fourth.
 
Chelsea went into the second half needing an early strike for any thoughts of a possible comeback and Kerr forced Panos into a save with a glancing header from a Kirby cross. The Blues looked much livelier as an attacking force after the break but could not break down a Barcelona defence which crowded them out on a number of occasions.
 
Hermoso headed wide from a corner at the other end, before Chelsea won a free kick going forward, with Guro Reiten picking out Harder but her header flew straight at Panos.
 
Chelsea continued to look for a consolation and brought on Erin Cuthbert and Beth England up front but were still not able to get through a Barcelona side which kept them at arms length, with Patri Guijarro and Mapi Leon making sure of keeping things tight at the back.
 
As the game went into injury time, Barcelona did get the ball in the net once more as Asisat Oshoala swept the ball past Berger from fifteen yards but an offside flag went up, against Martens earlier in the build up. This was only to be a momentary delay of celebrations for the Catalan side as the final whistle blew moments later to round off the greatest night in their history to date, whilst Chelsea can reflect that they are getting closer towards what they deem to be the ultimate prize, but came up against an outstanding side in inspired form.
 
FC Barcelona: Sandra Panos, Marta Torrejon (sub Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic 82mins), Leila Ouahabi (sub Melanie Serrano 82mins), Mapi Leon, Patri Guijarro, Aitana Bonmati, Jennifer Hermoso (sub Asisat Oshoala 71mins), Caroline Graham Hansen (sub Mariona Caldentey 62mins), Lieke Martens, Kheira Hamraoui, Alexia Putellas (sub Vicky Losada 71mins). Subs not used: Laia Codina, Cata Coll, Jana Fernandez, Bruna Vilamala, Gemma Font.
 
Chelsea: Ann-Katrin Berger, Niamh Charles, Jess Carter, Millie Bright, Sophie Ingle, Magdalena Eriksson, Fran Kirby, Melanie Leupolz (sub Guro Reiten 45mins), Sam Kerr (sub Beth England 73mins), Ji So-Yun (sub Erin Cuthbert 73mins), Pernille Harder. Subs not used: Zecira Musovic, Hannah Blundell, Jessie Fleming, Drew Spence, Jonna Andersson, Carly Telford, Jorja Fox, Aggie Beever-Jones.

 

 
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