Sam Kerr’s dream of sealing her triumphant season for Chelsea with a Women’s Champions League victory has turned into a nightmare as brilliant Barcelona outclassed the English champions 4-0 in the final in Gothenburg.
The Matildas captain had harboured high hopes of becoming the first Australian woman to play on the winning side in Europe’s biggest club match in the Swedish showpiece on Sunday.
But her hopes were dashed after a horror first-half saw the Women’s Super League holders ship four goals, including a freak own goal from Melanie Leupolz that set Barca on their way after just 33 seconds.
Kerr was finally put out of her misery in the 73rd minute, England’s Golden Boot winner taken off by coach Emma Hayes with Chelsea making absolutely no headway.
Playing some sumptuous passing football, Alexia Putellas, converting a softly-awarded penalty, Aitana Bonmati and Caroline Graham Hansen all scored for the Spanish champions in the opening 35 minutes to dismantle a side which had lost only one of its previous 17 games.
Kerr, hoping to go one better than Matildas teammate Ellie Carpenter who was an unused sub in Lyon’s triumph last year, barely got a look-in at the Ullevi Stadium as Barcelona ran rings round the London side in the opening period.
Kerr, who the previous week had won the Golden Boot award as the WSL’s top scorer while the Blues sealed the league title, blazed her only first-half effort, a left-foot volley, high and wide.
After the break with Barcelona content to sit on their lead, Chelsea’s best chances again fell to Dane Pernille Harder, who’d also been wasteful with Chelsea’s two best chances in the first half.
But Kerr kept battling yet couldn’t quite latch on to Guro Reiten’s 50th minute cross and then, disappointingly, she looped a header well over in the 70th.
It was to be her last contribution as, three minutes later, Kerr’s big night was over as she trooped off the pitch, looking dispirited as her side went on to suffer the biggest-ever defeat in a one-off WCL final and Barcelona became Spain’s first champions.
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