Asisat Oshoala won the Women’s Champions League title with Barcelona Femeni after humbling Chelsea 4-0 in the final on Sunday.
The triumph is the first Champions League title for Barcelona Femeni and Oshoala became the first African woman to win the trophy.
A first-minute own goal and another three inside 36 minutes, from the midfielders Alexia Putellas, Aitana Bonmatí and the Norwegian forward Caroline Graham Hansen, quietened the usually vocal Emma Hayes, who stood alone in her technical area, unable to mastermind a way past an exhilarating team that has played 26 and won 26 on the way to a La Liga title with five games to play, scoring 129 goals and conceding only five in the process.
Two years ago the Barcelona players had confronted the manager, Lluís Cortés, after their 4-1 defeat by Lyon in the final and, driven by a desire to bridge the gap, said they wanted to train more, train harder and come back and win.
In that game in Budapest a fifth-minute opener from Dzenifer Marozsan and three goals in 16 minutes from Ada Hegerberg had put the holders four goals clear by the half-hour mark.
In Sweden Barcelona looked fuelled by all the intensity, pace and desire that had so cruelly crushed them in 2019.
In that respect there is hope for the WSL champions. Their opponents offer a blueprint for how to reignite the flame after the most brutal of downpours. Their tear-stained faces at the close were a mirror of those in blue and red two seasons ago
Chelsea’s journey to the final had been fraught with adversity. Each time, though, they had proved equal to the task in front of them no matter how tall the order.
After the influential defensive midfielder Sophie Ingle was sent off in the 13th minute in the last-16 first leg against Atlético Madrid, the toughest draw of the round, they weathered the pressure in the immediate aftermath and coolly struck back to win the game 2-0 and the tie 3-1.
Against Wolfsburg they exorcised the ghost of defeat, having been knocked out of the competition on three previous occasions by the German team. Utterly against the run of play they secured a 2-1 home win before brushing aside the two-time champions 3-0 in Germany.
Then they became the third team in the 20-year history of the competition to lose the first leg of a semi-final, 2-1 to Bayern Munich, and still reach the final.
Yet the final hurdle was not just one notch too high but many. Chelsea were carved apart by the delicious movement of Barcelona again and again and again.
Nigerian international, Oshoala did not start but came on in the 71st minute for Hermoso 71.
*Courtesy: The Guardian