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How to watch UEFA Women's Champions League final: Barcelona vs. Lyon start time, live stream, storylines, news
Fri, May 20, 2022
Women's Champions League final action will kick off on May 21 as FC Barcelona and Olympique Lyonnais square off for a chance to lift the coveted European title. The clubs are two of Europes most iconic brands, as Barcelona aims to claim their second consecutive Champions League trophy, and Lyon is looking to return to glory as they strive for an eighth UWCL title.'
Let's take a look at three things to know ahead of the big game
USWNT players will play a role
Two names familiar to USWNT fans in the final will be Catarina Macario and Lindsey Horan as the two national team players that currently play in France with Lyon. Macario signed a multi year deal with the Division 1 French club back in 2021 straight out of Stanford University. Horan joined the club more recently, signing a multi-year deal through 2025.'
Macario is having an incredible UWCL campaign for Lyon, and leads the team in goals scored with seven over 10 appearances. Her ability to to play deeper when Ada Hegerberg features up top has allowed Lyon to move the ball decisively up the pitch when necessary, and the addition of Horan has added more options for the French side in the middle third. Horan's ability to win duels in the midfield could disrupt Barcelona's movement, and lead to more opportunities to spearhead attacks for Lyon.'
A budding rivalry
Lyon holds the better UWCL record against Barcelona, and have won all three previous games against Barcelona in the knockout stages of UWCL competition.
The two teams met previously during the 2019 UWCL final in Budapest, where Lyon won their fifth-consecutive UWCL title. Hegerberg scored a hat trick during a 16 minute span after Dzenifer Marozsan opened the goal scoring. The four goal thrashing gave Lyon a massive lead in the opening 30 minutes of the final.
Last year, the seven time Champions League winners were eliminated in quarterfinal action against Paris Saint-Germain, ending their five year consecutive reign. Barcelona defeated PSG in the semifinal, and went on to face Chelsea in the final, winning their first ever UWCL title defeating the Blues 4-0.'
Barcelona defender Irene Paredes has experience playing in the French division after spending time with PSG, but believes that this second clash against Lyon will serve a greater test for Barcelona. After navigating an early injury, she ready for the challenge against Lyon.
"I am perfect now," said Paredes. "It was hard to recover, and to come and play again at a high level, but it's been a lot of weeks now, that I'm [feeling] perfect so I'm willing to play the final."
This is the second UWCL final appearance for Paredes, who reached the final in 2017 against Lyon with PSG where the Parisian side were eliminated on penalty kicks. Now back with Barcelona, her familiarity with the French foe is an asset for Barcelona, and she believes the final is going to showcase the best two clubs in Europe.
"It's amazing for a lot of supporters, but reaching a final is, really, really difficult. In my career, it's my second time. The rest of the teammates, they already won one [and] they want another one. So we have to give to this situation the importance that it [holds] because we are in between the best clubs of Europe. But it's always really difficult to reach a final, so I'm really excited to play it on on Saturday, and of course I hope the best for out team."
Alexia Putellas vs. Ada Hegerberg'
Both Alexua Putellas and Hegerberg will be massive players for their respective clubs, as the two Ballon D'Or winners go head to head on the biggest stage in Europe. Though Putellas and Barcelona have been the team dominating football headlines over the last two years, Hegerberg has long been one of Europe's most outstanding performers.
Barcelona's remarkable run has only expanded this year, winning all 30 games in the Spanish Division, while only conceding 11 goals this year, and scoring a whopping 159 goals against their opposition.'
Putellas, the 2021 Ballon D'Or winner and 2021 FIFA's Best Player is hoping to lead them to finish a perfect season with their second consecutive UWCL trophy. The Spanish international is Barcelona's leading scorer this season with 32 goals, eclipsing her previous career best of 26 goals last season. Sge captained Barcelona to victory in last season's final, converting a penalty and providing an assist against Chelsea. Putellas is the joint top scorer in this season's competition with ten goals, level with Wolfsburg's Tabea Wassmuth.
The UEFA Women's Player of the Year for 2020-21 is aiming to become the first player to hit 11 in a campaign in this tournament since Hegerberg did it for Lyon with 15 back in 2017-18.
Hegerberg is coming off a 21 month absence due to a ruptured ACL, and made her return to the pitch playing the final 12 minutes of Lyon's 3-0 win over BK Hacken in the Champions League back in March. She also recently announced her return to the International stage with Norway's Women's National Team. She had refused to play for Norway until working condition for the women's team were improved.
Hegerberg is the UEFA Women's Champions League all-time top scorer with 58 goals, and has scored 17 in her last 14 competition appearances. She has scored five times in previous Champions League finals, fewer only than Marta (six) and Conny Pohlers (eight).'
The 26-year-old has scored four of Lyon's seven goals against Barcelona and is the leading scorer in the budding rivalry between the two sides.'
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