Chelsea have slipped to a 4-0 defeat to Barcelona in the UEFA Women’s Champions League final in Gothenburg this evening.
Emma Hayes’ side found themselves behind within the first minute at the Gamla Ullevi Stadium and The Blues conceded three further first half goals as they fell to the heaviest defeat in a modern day one-off UEFA Women’s Champions League final.
Barcelona started the game at lightening pace and they were ahead after just 30 seconds in fortunate circumstances. Lieke Martens’ long range effort cannoned off the crossbar before Fran Kirby’s hurried clearance hit teammate Melanie Leupolz and rebounded into her own net.
A frantic start then saw Pernille Harder and Jennifer Hermoso miss the target at either end before Chelsea keeper Ann-Katrin Berger had to be alert to push an Aitana Bonmati effort over the bar.
Barcelona were then awarded a penalty kick when Hermoso was caught by the trailing leg of Leupolz. Alexia Putellas stepped up and slotted the ball home from 12 yards as the Spaniards established an early two-goal lead.
Chelsea’s nightmare start continued as Bonmati got the better of Jess Carter and fired home the third goal of the game before Martens powered through The Blues defence and played in Caroline Graham Hansen for a tap-in as Barcelona made it 4-0 inside 37 minutes.
Hayes’ Chelsea side had a couple of chances themselves in the first half but in truth, opposing keeper Sandra Panos didn’t have anything to do other than make routine saves.
With the game as good as won by Barcelona, there was certainly less goalmouth action in the second half. Sam Kerr got her head on a Kirby cross but was unable to trouble Panos while Harder also saw an effort easily claimed by the Barcelona keeper after connecting with a Guro Reiten free-kick.
Blues boss Hayes threw both Erin Cuthbert and Beth England on in a bid to at least find a goal but to their credit, Barcelona’s defence held relatively firm and they made it difficult for Chelsea to test Panos.
Substitute Asisat Oshoala had a fifth goal chalked off for offside at the death but it didn’t matter as Barcelona went on to lift the trophy for the very first time. It was an evening of tough lessons learnt for Chelsea who will have to use the experience to return to the UEFA Women’s Champions League final stronger in the future.