Barcelona Femení entered Saturday’s UEFA Women’s Champions League final as the reigning European queens and on the heels of a perfect season in the Spanish league, but Lyon wasn’t buying the hype. As far as the French power is confirmed, the continent still belongs to them.
The now-eight-time European champions showed it Saturday in Turin, Italy, jumping out to a 3–0 lead in the final en route to a 3–1 triumph that restores the club’s place as the preeminent team on the continent. The 33-minute blitz to open the match was punctuated by U.S. women’s national team rising star Catarina Macario’s tap-in, which made her the first U.S. international to ever score in a European Champions League final. Both Macario and her USWNT teammate Lindsey Horan were in the Lyon XI for the match.
Amandine Henry set the tone with an absolute scorcher in the opening minutes, and it was followed soon after by a header from Ada Hegerberg, who added to her all-time record of goals in the competition with her 59th career tally.
Barcelona was able to pull one back before halftime through Alexia Putellas, with the reigning women’s Ballon d’Or winner providing some hope for the club’s title defense.
Barcelona came close to pulling within a goal in the 58th minute, when Patri channeled her inner Carli Lloyd and tried to lob the keeper from the center circle. Unlike Lloyd’s strike in the 2019 Women’s World Cup final, Patri’s clanged off the crossbar.
Barcelona confirmed its status last season with a rout of Chelsea in the final, seemingly learning its lesson and taking a step into the elite echelon after being humbled by Lyon in the 2019 final. In that game, Lyon scored in the fifth, 14th, 19th and 30th minutes, with Hegerberg tallying the last three for a history hat trick. Things marginally improved three years later, but Lyon clearly is not loosening its grip on its place in the pecking order without a fight.
The title is Lyon’s sixth in the last seven seasons and eighth in the last 12, with the club padding its record of all-time European triumphs on the women’s stage.