Victors Lyon were claiming their sixth trophy and would go on to lift a seventh a year later, making them by far and away the most successful club in the competition’s history. The upstarts had been put in their place.
But as the two sides prepare to meet in Turin on Saturday for the first time since that match, the tables have been turned by a Barcelona team who have taken the women’s game to new heights, both on and off the pitch; one looking to confirm their status as the continent’s new dominant force.
The Catalan club claimed their first Champions League title last season, hammering a Chelsea side that had blown English football away with a domestic treble in the final. This term, it is the Blues’ WSL rivals, Arsenal, who have experienced Barca’s brilliance first-hand, hammered 8-1 across their two group-stage meetings in this competition.
— UEFA Women’s Champions League (@UWCL) May 17, 2022
The latter of those matches was played at Emirates Stadium, where, it was confirmed yesterday, the Gunners will play at least six times next season. But it is Barca who have raised the bar on that front, too, breaking the world-record attendance for a women’s game, as more than 91,000 watched their semi-final victory over Wolfsburg at the Nou Camp.
Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas scored twice in that game and goes head-to-head with former winner Ada Hegerberg tomorrow night, the Norwegian back close to her best having spent more than 20 months of the period between the clubs’ two final meetings sidelined with an ACL injury.