60 min Bright eases Putellas over in the area. That looked a risky challenge, but the referee had no interest in giving a penalty.
58 min Ingle plays a terrific pass to find Kirby in space on the right of the area. She lifts a cross towards Kerr that is brilliantly cleared by Guijarro, facing her own goal in the six-yard box. No matter, it wouldn’t have counted: Kirby was offside.
54 min Chelsea have been much the better team in the second half, though that’s partly because Barcelona’s intensity has dropped. I suppose being 4-0 up does that to you.
52 min Chelsea have indeed switched to a 3-4-3 formation, with Reiten and Charles as wing-backs. That’s a huge risk against Martens and Graham Hansen, but they’ve got nothing to lose and so far it has worked well.
51 min Another near miss for Chelsea, with a left-wing cross just evading the head of Kerr at the far post.
50 min Kirby has a snapshot blocked. Chelsea have made a proud, determined start to the second half.
49 min Eriksson, up for a corner, is shoved in the back by Maria Leon. The referee gives a foul to Barcelona, because Eriksson fell on the ball and handled, but that could easily have been a penalty. It wasn’t a clear and obvious error, so VAR didn’t get involved.
46 min Kirby’s cross is headed towards goal by Kerr, and Panos moves across her line to make a comfortable save.
Chelsea have made a half-time change: Guro Reiten is on for the luckless Melanie Leupolz. That might mean a switch to a back three.
“Chelsea didn’t even play that badly initially, they were incredibly unlucky for the first two goals,” says Ciaran Crowther. “But they sleepwalked into a nightmare after that. Millie Bright looked lost in that first half. Devastating.”
“Hi Rob,” says Peter van Balen. “Even though Martens hasn’t scored herself (yet), she was devastating in attack – back to her best (FIFA & UEFA Player of the Year 2017). Looking forward to the second half.”
The run for the fourth goal was majestic. She has such a brilliant change of pace.
“Wow,” says Matt Dony. “Even the very best teams often tense up in the really big games. How often have we bemoaned underwhelming finals between underperforming sides? Barcelona have been playing like it’s an exhibition. No pressure, no nerves, utterly confident in their ability and their system. I don’t like Barcelona at all, but it is absolutely impossible not to be enormously impressed.”
“Genuinely sad to have been proved correct about the predicted rout because the women’s football sceptics will get undeserved attention in England, where the top four club sides are a joy to watch,” says Dom in California, who predicted this before the match. “I hope Guardian readers don’t make that mistake. Chelsea are not garbage. This Barca side are just truly exceptional. If we invest properly in the women’s game, we will only be treated to more and more quality like what we’re seeing in pink. It’s the beautiful game.”
Half time: Chelsea 0-4 Barcelona
Ouch. The biggest game in the history of Chelsea FCW has turned into a grisly nightmare. They never recovered from Melanie Leupolz’s freak own goal after 33 seconds, and Barcelona took them apart with some blistering football. The left winger Lieke Martens was unplayable – she didn’t score but played a part in three of the goals.
Alexia Putellas made it 2-0 with a dodgy penalty, then played a sensational pass for Aitana Bonmati to score the third. And finally a glorious run from Martens ended with a tap-in for Caroline Graham Hansen.
45 min Kirby is fouled 30 yards from goal. It’s rare that you talk about the chance of a consolation goal in the first half, but sadly that’s where Chelsea’s are at.
43 min “While I was expecting Barcelona to shade it based on their performance in the semifinal, I’m flummoxed by how much trouble Chelsea have had with the Catalan attack,” says Kári Tulinius. “I watched them deal fairly comfortably with Mead and Miedema, one of the finest forward pairs in the game, but they can’t seem to read Barcelona’s movements at all. Are Barcelona doing something different, or are Chelsea just not set up to chase the game?”
I think the early goal, and the manner of it, really unnerved Chelsea. But the main factor is the quality of Barcelona’s wingers, who have played a big part in all four goals. Niamh Charles and Jess Carter have been unable to cope; I’m not sure many could.
41 min Harder cuts inside from the left and hits a good shot that is smartly saved by Panos, falling to her right at the near post.
40 min Chelsea are an exceptional football team, yet they have been taken toi the cleaners. Barcelona have been awesome.
38 min Ingle is lucky not to be booked for a really poor tackle on Hamraoui. There was a VAR check for a red card, in fact, though it didn’t quite meet that threshold.
36 min It’s worth repeating that, in their only previous final, two years ago, Barcelona were 4-0 down to Lyon after half an hour.
GOAL! Chelsea 0-4 Barcelona (Graham Hansen 35)
Barcelona are champions of Europe… already. Martens moves elegantly past Charles on the left, slows down and then beats her again in the area. She reaches the byline, looks up and nutmegs Bright to give Graham Hansen an open goal. That was devastating.
34 min Ji drives an excellent long pass towards Kerr, who gets behind the defence but lobs wide from the edge of the area. That was a chance, because Panos was in, erm, no-woman’s land, but Kerr couldn’t wrap her left foot around the world.
33 min At times football is incredibly callous. It took Chelsea eight years to get to a Champions League final, and they conceded a slapstick own goal after 33 seconds. They just haven’t recovered.
31 min Putellas turns smartly on the edge of the D before driving a low shot wide. She has been majestic.
29 min “That’s how you buy a penalty,” says Ruth Purdue. “I am with you, I am having none of it.”
I’m not sure she even bought it. I just think she kicked Leupolz in her follow through and went over because it genuinely hurt. The referee actually waited a couple of seconds before giving it, which suggests the fall may have been a factor. But I’m not sure it was simulation from Hermoso. The daft thing is that, had she connected cleanly, I think Leupolz would have blocked the shot and play would have continued. It only became a foul because of the miskick.
Here’s the penalty that put Barcelona 2-0 up. I’m still not having it, though it would be a stretch to say Chelsea have been robbed.
24 min Harder has a long-range shot blocked. Chelsea have played pretty well going forward, but they have been taken apart at the back.
22 min The pass from Putellas for that goal was textbook tiki-taka: she spotted Bonmati’s run and made an instant adjustment to angle a first-time pass through to her, taking three Chelsea players out of the game in the process.
That is a beautiful goal. Martens beat Charles on the left and crossed towards Hermoso, back to goal on the edge of the area. She laid it off to Putellas, who played a devastating first-time through pass into the path of Bonmati. She charged into the area, nicked the ball away from Charles and slipped it under Berger.
16 min Kerr’s cross is headed onto the roof of the net by the stretching Harder. I’m really not sure that was a penalty you know. I’d like to see it again while not trying to do 48 thing at once, but it looked like Hermoso made a mess of the shot and then followed through into Leupolz. Either way, it’s been a traumatic start to the game for Leupolz. She has scored an own goal and given away a penalty, despite arguably doing nothing wrong.
15 min In their only other Champions League final, two years ago, Barcelona were 4-0 down to Lyon after half an hour. It’s fair to say they have addressed that tonight.
GOAL! Chelsea 0-2 Barcelona (Putellas 14 pen)
No penalty heroics from Berger this time. The captain Putellas calmly sends her the wrong way, and Chelsea are in all sorts of trouble.
Graham Hansen got behind Carter in the area, shaped to shoot and then cut the ball back to Hermoso near the penalty spot. She miskicked her shot under pressure from Leupolz and then went over after a clash of legs. I thought Hermoso kicked Leupolz in her follow through, rather than the other way round, but I fear this is going to be upheld.
11 min The last five minutes have been much more encouraging for Chelsea, with most of the game being played in the Barcelona half. It’s a statement of the offensively obvious, but the next goal is huge.