As Chelsea’s players and staff trudged off the field in Gothenburg after watching Barcelona lift the Women’s Champions League trophy, the pain on their faces was clear to see. Just seven days earlier they had been singing Queen’s ‘We are the champions’, after clinching their fourth league title. In Sweden they found themselves looking on forlornly as Barcelona danced to the same tune. The mood among Chelsea’s executives in the stands, and players in the dressing room, was defiant: ‘We will be back’ came the message. When Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich visited the dressing room after the match, the players told him they would return to the final and strive to go one better. And with such a high-calibre crop of players, most of whom have the peak years of their careers ahead of them, there is little reason to doubt that Chelsea will return to this stage. But, what must they do now to try and ensure they are the ones celebrating in Turin on 22nd May 2022 after next season’s showpiece fixture? Shore up the defence On the evidence of Sunday’s chastening defeat, the Londoners must buy well in the transfer market to strengthen their defensive ranks. In some ways they have been unfortunate - missing their rock-solid Norway right-back Maren Mjelde since she suffered a knee injury in March’s League Cup final. Sunday’s starting full-backs Niamh Charles, 21, and Jess Carter, 23, had both impressed in recent weeks, especially in the second leg of Chelsea’s semi-final victory over Bayern Munich when they were near flawless. However, they were badly exposed by Barcelona’s world-class wingers in Sweden, with the Netherlands’ Lieke Martens flying down the Catalan club’s left and Norway’s Caroline Graham Hansen similarly proving too strong down their right. Charles and Carter, both England internationals, will continue to develop with age and will learn from the harsh experience of their first European final. But Chelsea will now undoubtedly seek to strengthen their defensive options and enhance their depth. Chelsea's centre-back options were also found lacking when captain Magdalena Eriksson missed last month’s 2-2 draw away at Manchester City and their semi-final first-leg defeat away at Bayern Munich. While supremely well-organised against domestic opponents with the Sweden skipper, without her, Chelsea appeared shaky. Netherlands defender Aniek Nouwen has already agreed to join Chelsea this summer on a three-year deal from PSV, which will boost their options as an exciting young prospect, but at 22 she is a young player considered one for the future.