The defeat in the final of the Women’s Champions League against Olympique de Lyon (1-3), king of the competition with eight gold medals and its executioner in 2019, meant for Barcelona an apprenticeship in its journey through the elite of the European soccer.
The Barça dressing room advocated self-criticism after falling in Turin, where the French team, with very solid and physical football, imposed their law in a match that was decided in the first half, when Barça conceded all three goals of the game.
“When you lose a final the reaction is one of sadness and disappointment, they are experiences that are part of the competition, sometimes you win and sometimes you learn,” coach Jonatan Giráldez argued after the match.
Until this Saturday, the champions of the ‘Champions’ of the 2020-21 season had ended the current edition of the competition with a single defeat in the second leg of the semifinals against Wolfsburg (2-0). In Germany, despite sealing the classification after 5-1 in the first leg, it was already evident that Barça could be harmed by proposing a physical encounter.
And that’s what Lyon did at Juventus Stadium. With high pressure and plotting quick exits after stealing, Sonia Bompastor’s pupils short-circuited the Barça engine room in the first half hour. In addition, defensive errors multiplied. Three goals were conceded by Barcelona in 33 minutes, when in the ten games prior to the final they had only conceded 7.
«The assessment I make is that, no matter how much we train, we need their competitive rhythm (Lyon) because this rhythm is not what we have in domestic competition. It is achieved by tightening all, all the infrastructures, all the players, everything has to be tightened. If we want to have this competitive rhythm, it has to be changed…”, lamented Alexia Putellas after the meeting.
When the Barça captain refers to “competitive pace”, she does so in reference to the level of the Spanish league, where Barça has walked with a full 30 wins with 159 goals for and only 11 against.
“As a player, I would love to have this rhythm of competition in each game, because that way they anticipate you in each play, but this is at last,” insisted the soccer player from Mollet del Vallès in statements to Television of Catalonia (TV3).
Lyon is also commanding the French Division 1 with some solvency this course. With two days to go before the competition ends, they are five points ahead of Paris Saint Germain, with a balance of 19 wins and a single draw. In domestic competition, he has scored 74 goals and has only conceded 8 in 20 games.
In any case, the public discourse of the Barça players is similar to the one they made after the 2019 final. In that game, the superiority of the French team was even more evident (4-1).
After the first European disappointment, Barça got up and, two years later, won the first women’s ‘Champions’ in the history of the club in a football exhibition against Chelsea (4-0).
“It is a day that will make us better and from which we will learn a lot. Because yes, that’s sport, sometimes you fall and our responsibility, and what we want, is to do self-criticism to improve and continue the journey, “midfielder Aitana Bonmatí posted on Twitter after the Turin final.
The current champion of the League and the Spanish Super Cup now has to recover quickly from the continental defeat, since this Wednesday in Alcorcón they face Real Madrid in the semifinals of the Copa de la Reina. EFE