Olympique Lyonnais (OL) roars again. In 2021, FC Barcelona ended Lyon’s series of five crowns in a row. In Turin, Sonia Bompastor’s players recovered their continental throne by defeating the Spaniards (3-1), a victory synonymous with an eighth Champions League in OL history.
“Winning against OL would be the perfect film”, Catalan star Alexia Putellas said ahead of the game. And if the Barcelona supporters largely won the battle of the decibels in the streets of Turin as in the stands of the Juventus Stadium, it was Lyon who dictated the scenario of the meeting.
Under the Piedmontese dodger (more than 30 degrees on the thermometer), Amandine Henry took charge of the first conditioning of the game (6th), with a shot from the right in the skylight in front of the Catalan kop. A flash before the start of a big streak of possession and domination by Jonatan Giraldez’s players. “ The idea was to put pressure on them from the kick-off. We knew that by scoring we were going to hit them in the back of the head. 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 have so much success.” deciphered after the match the first scorer, player of the match trophy in her hands.
The “Femeni” technician wanted his “revenge” after the defeat at the same stage of the competition in 2019 (1-4). Nothing happened, although striker Jennifer Hermoso had two equalizing balls. The first on a point-blank left shot deflected with a firm hand by goalkeeper Christiane Endler (11th) then another nipped in the bud by Selma Bacha’s saving tackle from five meters, preventing number 10 Blaugrana from relaunching the part (16th). The reigning three-time Spanish champions have never denied their principles of play, with passing on the ground and quick transitions sometimes putting the Lyon defense to the test.
Winning comeback for Hegerberg
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 quite different at Juventus Stadium, the Lyon workforce, where experience and youth mix, was able to resist with force the strong moments of their opponent, before stinging brilliantly.
Sonia Bompastor did not fail to remind 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, it slips over us and it gives us additional strength “, developed the technician, who has now become the first to win the Champions League as a player (2011 and 2012) and on the bench.
Sonia Bompastor, the first personality to win on the field and on the bench! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 ✅ 🏆 Player ✅ 🏆 Coach… https://t.co/nGujjo2Y0l
Carelessness embodied by Selma Bacha. The left side did not hesitate to throw herself at the feet of Alexia Putellas in the area on a hot situation in the first period or to try clean raises in her thirty meters. A player shaped since her debut at the OL Academy by Sonia Bompastor, and who takes on a new dimension within the first team.
Before seeing his audacity rewarded with a perfect cross on the head of Hegerberg (23rd). The striker turned into a passer on Catarina Macario’s third goal. A great reward for the Norwegian, first Ballon d’Or in history in 2018, and who lived two difficult years because of injuries to her right knee and then to her left tibia, she who “ couldn’t imagine being in the final last year “. The technician does not hide her admiration for her number 14: “It’s a work force all on its own. She is exemplary. She had to work hard to get back to tonight’s level. It allowed us in terms of leadership to put on a good face against Barcelona. »
Putellas nevertheless maintained hope
For the Catalans, the local icon is called Alexia Putellas, whose flocked jerseys bloomed as much as Lionel Messi’s throughout the day. The Ballon d’Or 2021 largely won the applause meter during the composition of the teams. If the jewel of FC Barcelona did not play its best match, it had the merit of sounding the revolt just before the break, responding to Ada Hegerberg with a beautiful recovery of the right on a perfect service from Caroline Graham Hansen (41st ).
A reduction in the score which revived the interest of the game in a second act dominated by the Spaniards, who almost returned to a goal on a forty-meter lob from Patri Guijarro which hit the crossbar (58th). Behind, the Lyonnaises knew how to break the rhythm, between tactical faults, replacements and saving time.
And if Lyon did the big eight, this poster opposing two different styles of play offered a formidable showcase for European women’s football, capable of offering foolproof intensity over ninety minutes, in an atmosphere 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. In the meantime, Lyonnaises and Catalanes still have titles to win. For Barça, a victory in the Queen’s Cup would complete the national title already acquired.
As for the now eight-time European champions Lyon, one point would allow them to resume the French championship, abandoned last year at Paris-Saint-Germain. To prolong the roar.