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Incoming Chelsea boss Sonia Bompastor suffers Champions League heartbreak as Lyon beaten by Barcelona

Bompastor's side lost the Champions League final
-Credit: (Image: Photo by Daniela Porcelli/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)


Incoming Chelsea manager Sonia Bompastor's final game as Lyon boss ended in heartbreak as the French side were beaten 2-0 by Barcelona in the UEFA Women's Champions League (UWCL) final.

Ballon d'Or winner Aitana Bonmati opened the scoring for the holders in the 63rd minute before the club's all-time top scorer Alexia Putellas sealed the victory in stoppage time, depriving Lyon of the chance to clinch a record-extending ninth European title. It was a dominant display by Barcelona in front of more than 50,000 fans in Bilbao, with the Catalans having beaten Chelsea in the semi-finals to reach the last two.

It was a disappointing evening for Bompastor, who has been linked with Chelsea since outgoing boss Emma Hayes announced her departure last November. She finalised a deal to join the London club back in April, with an official announcement expected to follow in the coming days.

Despite Saturday's disappointment, Bompastor remains one of the most highly-rated coaches in the women's game and is viewed by the Chelsea hierarchy as the outstanding candidate to replace Hayes. Having enjoyed a glittering career as a player, the 43-year-old took the reins at Lyon in 2021, succeeding the dismissed Jean-Luc Vasseur.

Her debut season saw the French side clinch an impressive double and she has since transformed them into one of the most formidable teams in Europe, having won the league unbeaten during her first full season. Under her stewardship, Lyon have won three consecutive league titles and she is the only female head coach to have won the UWCL in the past 15 years, beating Barcelona in the 2022 final.

The BBC reported this week that an agreement has been reached between Chelsea and Lyon to postpone any official announcement of Bompastor's hiring until after Saturday's final.

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Despite missing out on the trophy, Bompastor's European credentials should inspire optimism for Chelsea, who are yet to win the UWCL. The Blues came close to winning the competition in 2021, losing the final 4-0 to Barcelona.

They will hope to go one better than on Bompastor's watch, though it is not an easy task to replace Hayes, who has already taken up her new role as head coach of the US Women's National Team. The long-time Chelsea boss won 16 trophies during her 12-year tenure in South-West London, clinching the Blues' fifth consecutive WSL title last weekend.