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Women's Champions League: The Keys to the Title of Olympique de Lyon

The French Team Have Conquered the eighth Champions League in their History, the Sixth in the Last Seven Editions and Unseat Barcelona.

Olympique Lyonnais players

Photo: IG-olfeminin

LatinAmerican Post | Nicolás Donoso Álvarez

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Leer en español: Champions League Femenina: las claves del título del Olympique de Lyon

After being knocked out in the quarterfinals of the last edition, Olympique de Lyon once again declared themselves champions after beating Barcelona (3-1) in the final, the current winner of the competition, and kept the eighth trophy of the Champions League in its history and the sixth in the last seven editions.

Those directed by the former soccer player Sonia Bompastor have left teams like Juventus and Paris Saint Germain on the way in previous phases to win the final against the culé team, a team that came to this instance in a great moment, but that has been unable to replicate it in the current final. For the same reason, in the following article we analyze the keys that led the French to stay with the glory.

Lyon's initial pressure

From the beginning of the commitment, Lyon understood that if they gave the initiative to Barcelona, the Spanish team would take the opportunity to gain control of the actions as is customary, and thanks to the high-quality players they have, there would no longer be turn back. For the same reason, the French surprised from the first minute with a high and suffocating pressure, forcing the culé error and finding the prize for such daring too soon.

Alexia Putellas lost the ball in the 6th minute, the French midfielder Amandine Henry recovered and then took a tremendous shot from outside the area to make it 1-0 and beat Sandra Paños. That was the first blow, but not the only one, and it is that minutes later, a great one-two made by Malard and the left back Bacha would end with a very good cross from the latter so that Ada Hegerberg connected with a header and put the 2- 0. Barcelona's losses in very compromising areas and Lyon's aggressiveness with and without the ball were a real nightmare for the Catalans in the first 20 minutes, which was decisive in the final result.

Ada Hagerberg, much more than an attacker

To play aggressively and with a lot of determination against a great rival, the presence of an attacker with multiple qualities is necessary, and the Norwegian Ada Hagerberg meets this requirement. The 26-year-old striker is much more than a great goalscorer, she associates very well with the midfielders, falls to the side frequently , presses high to force the error of the rivals and is always alert to take advantage of any left against her team. .

As if that were not enough, Hagerberg also defends when she has to and she also knows how to play intelligently with her back to the goal, either to hold the ball or to unload with another teammate. She made it 2-0 with a very good header and assisted Catarina Macario in the 3-0, so without a doubt Ada positioned herself as one of the best players in the final and as the great person responsible for Lyon being will stay with this Champions.

Also read: Male and female candidates to win the French Open 2022

Solidity and forcefulness of Endler and company

If you are going to play one on one and offensively to this Barcelona you have to have a good defense, and this Lyon has understood from the outset. Chilean goalkeeper Christiane Endler has been decisive in denying Jennifer Hermoso a goal when the game was 1-0 in favor of Lyon and, despite some shocks she suffered throughout the match, in general she was always very sure in aerial game and in long-distance shots, confirming that she has been one of the best goalkeepers in the world for many years.

While the defense has also been up to the task. Wendie Renard's experience has been key. The 31-year-old captain has given forcefulness, solidity and a lot of calm when the team has needed it most. Together with his defensive partner Griedge Mbock Bathy they have been solid in the air, unstoppable in one on one and have managed to make a difference in their own area. While the young left-back Selma Bacha, in addition to giving an assist, has been a constant danger on the left side and a headache for the right-back Barça player Marta Torrejón; and in defense he has been very applied and attentive, without complicating himself. Probably the best player of the match.

Barcelona's lack of aim

After the initial whirlwind of Lyon, Barcelona was very conditioned and with few options to overcome the result. After getting the discount when the first half was already in its last minutes through Alexia Putellas, hope appeared on the horizon. However, those led by Jonathan Giráldez wasted many scoring chances in the second half, from a shot inside the box by Ana-Maria Crnogorčević to a powerful midfield shot by Patri Guijarro that burst the crossbar of the goal guarded by Endler.

To these clear goal situations were added those of the Nigerian Asisat Oshoala and a header by the defender Irene Paredes that did not end in a goal either. On balance, Barcelona generated thirteen shots, of which three went on goal and had 61% possession of the ball compared to thirteen shots (five on goal) and 39% possession of Lyon. The numbers take a backseat when the French struck in the opening minutes and then, with the score very much in their favour, they closed the game and Barcelona's lack of aim helped make this a possible task.