Player ratings as Aitana Bonmati shines in UWCL final


Barcelona edged a tense 2-0 win in the UEFA Women’s Champions League final against Lyon to retain their title.

The Catalan giants won the competition only 12 months ago, but Lyon remained the one team they were yet to get the better of. That all changed on Saturday in Bilbao as Ballon d’Or winner Aitana Bonmati made the difference in a nervy affair at San Mames.

Deep in stoppage time, substitute Alexia Putellas made it two to put the result beyond doubt and celebrations ensued inside the stadium. Lyon, the giants of the competition for so many years, were toppled by Barcelona at last.

How the game unfolded

It was a relatively even first half of action as Barcelona had more of the possession, but couldn’t create much with it. Lyon carved out the first major opportunity of the game following some good link up play from Melchie Dumornay and Kadidiatou Diani, but a foul was eventually awarded in Barcelona’s favour.

Caroline Graham Hansen was Barcelona’s main creative outlet in the early exchanges as she found some space down the right and picked out Fridolina Rolfo, but the eventual effort was off target. Lyon then put the pressure on as Lucy Bronze very nearly steered an attempted clearance from Selma Bacha’s effort into her own net.

Bacha was then called into action down the other end as Patricia Guijarro picked up a loose ball from Lindsey Horan and charged into the Lyon box. Her effort was parried by goalkeeper Christiane Endler and it very nearly rebounded into the back of the net, if not for a goal line clearance from Bacha.

Just after the hour mark, Bonmati showed exactly why she’s one for the big occasion as she charged past the Lyon defence and her effort from the tightest of angles deflected into the back of the net.

Diani came the closest to levelling the scoreline late on as she unleashed a shot from distance. It curled marginally wide of the top corner, but showed Lyon weren’t ready to give in just yet.

Despite six minutes of added time, Barcelona were able to hold on and see out a historic win. Substitute Putellas ensured Lyon were denied a ninth crown by adding a second right at the death.

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Barcelona celebrate after winning the UEFA Women’s Champions League final against Lyon / ANDER GILLENEA/GettyImages

GK: Cata Coll – 6/10 – Looked pretty uncomfortable dealing with crosses into her box. Dropped one in the first half and very nearly gifted Lyon an opener. A poor clearance to put her side under pressure in the second half.

RB: Lucy Bronze – 8/10 – Some crucial defending in the opening five minutes to deny Lyon an opener after some clever play. Lucky not to concede an own goal shortly after, however. More than made up for it by a heroic defensive display in the second half.

CB: Irene Paredes – 8/10 – Vital tackle late in the first half as Dumornay looked to get a shot away. Dealt with Lyon’s late onslaught extremely well.

CB: Ingrid Engen – 8/10 – Solid defensive partnership with Paredes and showed composure late on as Lyon pushed for an equaliser.

LB: Fridolina Rolfo – 7/10 – Put a few efforts wide in the first and second half, but still looked a threat down the left. Subbed.

CM: Keira Walsh – 7/10 – In control for most of the game but her influence waned late on as Lyon pushed for an equaliser. Did enough to get the job done.

CM: Aitana Bonmati – 8/10 – Plenty of energy in the middle of the park and oozed class at times. No surprise she was the one to open the scoring in the second half.

CM: Patricia Guijarro – 7/10 – Very nearly opened the scoring in the first half but was denied by Endler. A confident and positive evening from the midfielder.

RW: Caroline Graham Hansen – 8/10 – Danced through the Lyon defence at times. Was quality on the ball and worked hard off it. Her pace caused a lot of problems for the opponents.

ST: Salma Paralluelo – 7/10 – Couple of decent sights of goal in the first hour but unable to make any of them count. Used her pace and physicality well. Subbed.

LW: Mariona Caldentey – 7/10 – Added fluidity to Barcelona’s attack as she often switched positions with Paralluelo in order to test the Lyon defence.

Substitutes

SUB: Ona Batlle (67’ for Fridolina Rolfo) – 7/10 

SUB: Esmee Brugts (84’ for Salma Paralluelo) – 7/10 

SUB: Alexia Putellas (90+2’ for Keira Walsh) – 8/10

SUB: Claudia Pina (90+2’ for Mariona Caldentey) – N/A

Subs not used: Sandra Panos (GK), Gemma Font (GK), Mapi Leon, Jana Fernandez, Marta Torrejon, Bruna Vilamala, Vicky Lopez, Martina Fernandez

Manager

Jonatan Giraldez – 8/10 – Finally cracked the Lyon code. Signed off from his European journey with Barcelona in style with a historic win. Used his substitutes well as Putellas stepped up in the dying stages of the game.

Selma Bacha

Selma Bacha of Lyon with the ball in the UEFA Women’s Champions League final / Eurasia Sport Images/GettyImages

GK: Christiane Endler – 6/10 – A decent stop to deny Guijarro late in the first half. Not a lot she could have done for the opener as it took a deflection.

RB: Ellie Carpenter – 6/10 – Allowed Bonmati to run through for the opening goal. Offered some threat down the right flank but wasn’t able to make her influence count.

CB: Wendie Renard – 7/10 – Struck the post early doors as Lyon displayed their threat at set pieces. Set the tone for Lyon’s defensive unit and was a calming presence at the back, especially as Barcelona dominated possession, but picked up a booking in the second half when Hansen managed to burst past her.

CB: Vanessa Gilles – 6/10 – Allowed Patri to charge into the box with the ball after Horan gave it away and it very nearly cost Lyon a goal. Bonmati’s opening goal deflected off her leg as she slid in an attempt to clear it.

LB: Selma Bacha – 7/10 – Hansen certainly had her number in the opening exchanges as the Barcelona forward was the orchestrator of a handful of chances. Cleared off the line after Guijarro’s initial shot nearly rebounded into the net. Goal-saving challenge to deny Hansen from making it two.

CM: Damaris Egurrola – 6/10 – Huge tackle to dispossess Caldentey after the Barcelona winger picked up the ball in the box. Struggled to dictate the play in the middle of the park as the opponents dominated possession.

CM: Lindsey Horan – 7/10 – Gave the ball away in a very dangerous area in the first half and was fortunate Barcelona couldn’t capitalise. Was central to a lot of Lyon’s attacking play across the 90+6 minutes.

CM: Danielle van de Donk – 6/10 – A pretty quiet game from a player that is often so influential. Subbed.

RW: Kadidiatou Diani – 7/10 – Some clever flicks and footwork when she was able to get on the ball in the first half, but was quiet for large spells. Wasn’t far off scoring an equaliser late on with an effort from distance.

ST: Melchie Dumornay – 6/10 – So close to connecting with a cross from Cascarino on the hour mark but just about missed it. Wasn’t able to influence the game and probably didn’t have enough service.

LW: Delphine Cascarino – 6/10 – An outrageous touch in the first half to bring down a cross-field pass, but was quickly crowded out by the Barcelona defenders. Looked lively at times but had little overall impact. Subbed.

Substitutes

SUB: Amel Majri (65’ for Delphine Cascarino) – 6/10 

SUB: Vicki Becho (80’ for Vanessa Gilles) – 6/10 

SUB: Ada Hegerberg (81’ for Danielle van de Donk) – 6/10

Subs not used: Feerine Belhadj (GK), Laura Benkarth (GK), Perle Morroni, Dzsenifer Marozsan, Alice Sombath, Alice Marques, Griedge Mbock

Manager

Sonia Bompastor – 6/10 – Not the ending to her time at Lyon she would’ve hoped for, if she is to complete the switch to Chelsea that has been so heavily reported. Her side had their moments, but Barcelona ultimately dominated and got the deserved result in the end.

Player of the match – Aitana Bonmati (Barcelona)

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