Barcelona offer perfect blueprint as Chelsea FC Women aim to learn from Champions League Final disaster

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 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

If Chelsea Women want a blueprint for how to bounce back from a Champions League Final defeat, they need only look at the team who beat them on Sunday night.

Two years ago, Barcelona were in the Blues’ shoes as they looked on crestfallen and longingly at Lyon lifting the trophy.

Like Chelsea, who lost 4-0, Barca suffered a chastening defeat as they fell to a 4-1 loss that included four goals in the opening half an hour.

Chelsea’s demise was alarmingly similar and, after conceding a freak own goal by Melanie Leupolz after just 33 seconds, they had leaked three more by the 36th minute.

“I think the disappointment that will be felt in the dressing room is that the game was over before it began - and that’s what’s difficult,” said Chelsea boss Emma Hayes.

“Ann Berger didn’t have a save to make, yet we we were 4-0 down. Conceding so early - one is an own goal, the second is a penalty - I think from there it was an uphill battle.”

Barcelona’s opening goal after 33 seconds set the tone for a frantic first 15 minutes, which was played as though it was the final quarter of an hour.

Chelsea were 2-0 down at the end of it, with Alexia Putellas slotting a penalty, but they could have had two goals of their own if Pernille Harder had taken the chances that came her way.

Instead, it was Barcelona who went through the gears with two well-worked goals that were finished off by Aitana Bonmati and Caroline Graham Hansen.

“I think it is something that we will learn from, because this is the next step up,” said Hayes. “I thought we showed some naivety at times in situations.

“I felt calm coming into the game, but I felt some of the inexperience cost us.

The Champions League Final was over for Chelsea Women before it really beganAFP via Getty Images
The Champions League Final was over for Chelsea Women before it really beganAFP via Getty Images

“I said to the players: ‘Look at the scoreboard’. That’s got to be a motivating factor when they come back to pre-season, because this will stay with them over the summer.”

The challenge for Hayes now is to pick Chelsea up and go again, although it should not be forgotten that they are still on to win the domestic treble this season.

They have already won the Women’s Super League and the League Cup, and lifting the FA Cup would cap off a brilliant campaign.

But winning the Champions League is an undoubted goal for Hayes and her squad, who will have learned from their defeat in Gothenburg.

That is exactly what Barcelona did two years ago, when they were in Chelsea’s situation, and Hayes said she could see the benefit of that.

Emma Hayes’ side should learn from Barcelona, who lost heavily in the final two years agoAFP via Getty Images
Emma Hayes’ side should learn from Barcelona, who lost heavily in the final two years agoAFP via Getty Images

“They had the pain of two years ago - and it showed,” she added.

Now the challenge is for Chelsea to do the same and the players are determined to ensure they are the ones celebrating next time.

“We will be back better and back stronger for the next time,” said defender Mille Bright.

“The message to fans is: ‘Thank you for your support, as always. Don’t stop believing in us, because we will be back and next time we will do better’.”

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