The seven-time European champions Lyon!! took a 3–0 lead in the final in Turin, Italy, with Catarina Macario’s tap-in making her the first American woman to score in a European Champions League final.
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Macario and her USWNT teammate Lindsey Horan were both named to the Lyon starting
lineup for the match.
Amandine Henry opened the scoring with a rocket in the first minute, which was quickly
followed by a header from Ada Hegerberg, who now has 59 goals in the competition.
Alexia Putellas, the reigning women’s Ballon d’Or winner, pulled one back for Barcelona
before halftime, providing some hope for the club’s title defense.
After being humbled by Lyon in the 2019 final, Barcelona reinforced its status last season
with a blowout of Chelsea in the final, clearly learning its lesson and taking a step into the
elite echelon. Lyon scored in the fifth, 14th, 19th, and 30th minutes of that game, with
Hegerberg scoring the final three for a hat trick. Things have improved slightly three years
later, but Lyon does not appear to be relinquishing its position in the pecking order without
Keep a safe grip on the award.
Sarah Bouhaddi could theoretically make her eighth appearance in the final partnering
Renard. Christiane Endler is more likely to keep goal for Lyon, as she has done when healthy
all season, even since Bouhaddi’s return from an OL Reign loan in the autumn.
Lyon knew it would need a successor for Bouhaddi at some time, and Endler’s entrance from
Paris Saint-Germain last summer signaled that she was the right person for the job. Endler’s
displays when Paris dethroned Lyon in Europe and France last season underscored that,
as did her excellence for Chile at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 2021 Olympics.
Since Endler’s transfer, Lyon has once again surpassed Paris.
Sandra Paos, another contender for the world’s number one, will play in the opposite goal. She was crowned UEFA Women’s Champions League Goalkeeper of the Season in 2020/21 after assisting Barcelona to victory, and the Spain goalkeeper has been virtually flawless for both club and nation for many years, producing multiple long streaks of clean sheets.
One of the two goalkeepers could emerge as the game’s most important player, especially if the game goes to penalties for the fourth time in Lyon’s 10 finals.