Soccer-Fast start helps Lyon down Barca to win Women's Champions League


Soccer Football - Women's Champions League Final - FC Barcelona v Olympique Lyonnais - Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy - May 21, 2022 Olympique Lyonnais players celebrate after winning the Champions League REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

TURIN, Italy (Reuters) - Olympique Lyonnais beat Barcelona 3-1 in the Women's Champions League final on Saturday with all the goals coming in the first half as midfielder Amandine Henry netted a brilliant solo goal and striker Ada Hegerberg scored one and made another.

Favourites Barca, who thumped Chelsea in the 2021 final after suffering defeat by Lyon in the 2019 decider, struggled to deal with the French side's pressure in the opening 45 minutes, and by the time they found their feet it was too late.

On a sweltering night at the Juventus Stadium in Turin, Henry gave Lyon the lead with a stunning strike in the sixth minute, winning the ball and cutting inside on her right foot before firing a rocket from distance into the top corner.

Hegerberg added a second with a header in the 23rd and the Norway striker then teed up Catarina Macario to score Lyon's third with a tap-in 10 minutes later as the Spaniards, who have only lost once all season, looked a shadow of themselves.

Alexia Putellas pulled one back for Barca before the break and in the second half they came out all guns blazing, forcing Lyon back but struggling to make the most of their chances.

Patricia Guijarra stunning lob from inside the centre circle came back off the bar and substitute Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic blazed a volley just wide with the goal at her mercy.

Boasting plenty of experience in their squad, Lyon succeeded in doing everything they could to take the pace out of the game and a tired Hegerberg almost added a second in stoppage time, volleying the ball against the near post.

The final whistle heralded Lyon's eighth triumph in the competition after their last success in 2020, with France international Wendy Renard raising the trophy as fireworks exploded behind her.

With the club's official Twitter account quickly welcoming the Champions League trophy home, Lyon coach Sonia Bompastor made history as the first to win the competition as both a player and a coach.

"Barcelona were incredible. But I'm just really happy that we were able to start the game so well, getting those three goals in the first half really helped," Macario said.

"I think it just came out, we were the team that showed up the most today, and we had the most experience. So thankfully, we were able to come out on top," she added.

(Reporting by Philip O'Connor; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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