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Brilliant Ada Hegerberg Hat Trick Helps Lyon Crush Barcelona 4-1 In Women's Champions League Final

Lyon is so far ahead of every other club in Europe after winning its sixth Women’s Champions League trophy this decade.

Ada Hegerberg won’t be going to the Women’s World Cup this summer with Norway, as we’ve explained in the past. So the Women's Champions League final was essentially her World Cup.

She made the most of it.

Hegerberg scored a hat trick inside 30 minutes as Lyon demolished Barcelona 4-1 in the Women's Champions League final on Saturday in Budapest, Hungary. The win was Lyon’s fourth straight WCL title, winning last two finals by a combined 8-1 after the first two came on penalty kicks. OL has won six WCL trophies this decade, making even the Real Madrid men look average in comparison. 

For those of you who saw “Champions League final” and “Barcelona” in the headline and dreamt of a world where Lionel Messi’s team didn’t blow a huge lead against Liverpool, you should know this Barça side is pretty damn good. Although the Blaugranes finished runner-up to Atletico Madrid for a second straight year in league play, this squad features 2017 Best FIFA Women’s Player Lieke Martens, England’s Toni Duggan, Nigeria’s Asisat Oshoala, Spain’s Patri Guijarro and the young Spaniard Clàudia Pina.

But Lyon is even better, the dominant force in European women’s football — and it’s not even close. Les Fenottes won their record 17th league title this season to go with their record 10th Coupe de France Féminine trophy for a remarkable third treble in four years. OL never really came close to losing in the Champions League save for a 3-2 aggregate win over Chelsea in the semifinals. The four Round of 32 and Round of 16 matches were won by a combined 20-0. 

Lyon is loaded with some of the best players from Europe, including some of the best players from the French, German, English and Japanese national teams that will be competing in France this summer. From French stars Wendie Renard, Eugenie le Sommer, Amandine Henry and Sarah Bouhaddi to foreigners like Hegerberg, Dzsenifer Marozsán and Shanice van de Sanden, Lyon is ridiculously loaded. 

For in a bit of perspective though, Lyon played NWSL champion North Carolina Courage in the inaugural Women’s International Champions Cup final last year and the NWSL club came out on top 1-0. Even if it was a glorified friendly, it shows American pro teams are at least on par with the best teams in Europe in the women’s game, something you’d never say about the men’s leagues (Liga MX included). 

Quick aside: We’ve shat on B/R Live for nickel-and-diming fans with its expensive Champions League coverage, never showing more than one match on broadcast TV at a time in the U.S. But we have to commend B/R Live for showing the Women's Champions League final for free on Saturday. It would’ve been even better had Turner Sports shown the match on broadcast TV. TNT had the PGA Championship on but TBS was just showing a Charlie Day-Ice Cube comedy that I had never heard of before, which easily could’ve been taken off air for the Women's Champions League final.

As for the action, it was all about Lyon, especially in the first half. 

The opening 30 minutes saw Lyon absolutely tear Barcelona’s left side of defense apart. First, van de Sanden reached a long ball first before sending a cross that Marozsán easily tapped home in the fifth minute.

Van de Sanden again was the spark in the 14th minute when she made a similar cross for Hegerberg. The Ballon d’Or winner had time to take a touch before putting her shot past Sandra Paños in goal. 

Lyon didn’t ignore the left side of its attack. Left back Amel Majri hooked up with Hegerberg, who finished strongly with her left foot to put Lyon up 3-0 in the 19th minute.

Then Hegerberg made it three in 16 minutes.

Again the ball came in from the right side, this time from right back Lucy Bronze. The ball fell right to the feet of Hegerberg, who made no mistake from close range. 

It really will be a shame Hegerberg won’t be at the Women’s World Cup this summer, although we completely understand her reasoning. The hat trick was the first ever in a Women's Champions League final. 

The second half slowed down a bit, with Lyon content to sit back with its four-goal lead. But Oshoala did give Barcelona a bit of consolation with a goal in the 89th minute, a deserved goal despite the lopsided final score. 

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