It was billed as one of the marquee finals we’ve had in the UEFA Women’s Champions League for some time. FC Barcelona came in after an undefeated season in the Primera Iberdrola and as the reigning champions of Europe while Olympique Lyonnais, having hit the reset button this past summer, came into this final to prove a point. That they were the queens of Europe and not Barcelona.
Amandine Henry scored the goal of the game and probably the goal of the season today, capping off a Lyon performance for the ages. Her goal, her performance exemplified the strength of character and the qualities that Lyon have always had, despite how many seemed to have forgotten it recently.
Lyon started off the game quickly, looking to press Barcelona’s midfield and in particular Alexia Putellas. That’s where Henry’s goal came from; pressing Putellas, winning the ball high and going for goal.
In the sixth minute, Henry put in a crunching tackle on Putellas and won the ball for her team. She then proceeded to quickly get up and take the ball a few paces before unleashing an absolute thunderbluster of a goal.
TAKE. A. BOW.— DAZN Football (@DAZNFootball) May 21, 2022
Amandine Henry with one of the goals of the season for @OLFeminin
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While Amandine Henry ran away to celebrate in almost disbelief with her teammates, Barcelona could do nothing but shake their heads at the quality that Henry had just produced.
That goal set the tone for what Lyon were looking to do against Barcelona and the Catalans never responded to it. Instead, they continued to play their way and put enough confidence in their style of play to overcome how aggressive Lyon were flying into their tackles and into the channels in attack.
The second and third goals came from shaky touches in the back by Barcelona. Marta Torrejón and Caroline Graham Hansen did not track the one-two between Melvine Malard and Selma Bacha, and they were punished for it. Bacha got the cross in and Ada Hegerberg finished it with aplomb. The third came when Sandra Paños’ kick found the feet of Amandine Henry and as Barcelona failed to clear their lines, Hegerberg found Macario and all the USWNT player had to do was knock it in from close range.
There will be plenty written about Lyon’s tactical achievements and how Barcelona could have turned this game around had they taken more of their chances after Alexia Putellas had pulled one back for them (Patri Guijarro in particular was unbearably unlucky) but instead, we should once again look at Henry’s goal.
The swerve from out to in, the pace and power on it, all left Paños grasping at air as she could do nothing to stop an unstoppable shot. With people watching all over the world on DAZN and in front of a vociferous crowd at the Allianz Stadium in Turin, no other moment could have crowned Lyon’s triumph more than this by Amandine Henry. She and her teammates have reminded us once again that they are the cream of the crop in Europe and will look to remain so for as long as they can.