BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — All Ada Hegerberg asks of her teammates is to put the ball in front of the goal.
She’ll do the rest.
“We know each other’s strengths,” Hegerberg said of her champion Lyon side.
Hegerberg, the first female Ballon d’Or winner, and Lyon showed off their considerable strengths by thrashing Barcelona 4-1 in the final to win their fourth consecutive Women’s Champions League on Saturday.
Hegerberg scored three times in the first half to star for the French squad, which also won its sixth Champions League crown since 2011.
“Everyone was at their top level today,” she said after picking up the player of the match award. “Everyone was ready on the pitch and you could feel that from minute one.”
Hegerberg’s ability to work with her teammates impressed her coach, too.
“She played a collective type of football,” Lyon coach Reynald Pedros said. “We have a number of talents on our side, but if they can’t play together, you won’t see that talent.
“Ada played an awesome match, as did the rest of the team. We’re writing history. It was almost a perfect match.”
Dzsenifer Marozsan, also the captain of Germany, opened the scoring in the fifth minute, with local fans in Ferencvaros Stadion giving the Budapest-born midfielder a huge ovation.
But it was the ruthless Hegerberg who quickly put the final out of reach, her hat trick lifting her tally of Champions League goals to 42.
She scored three goals in 17 minutes, assisted by Shanice van de Sanden in the 14th minute, Amel Majri in the 19th, and Lucy Bronze in the 30th.
This was Hegerberg’s last major match of the season. The Norwegian star won’t be at the Women’s World Cup next month in France because she hasn’t played for her national squad since 2017 due to a dispute with the national federation.
Van de Sanden, who also assisted on Marozsan’s goal, was a constant threat on the right side, her speed posing a major challenge for the Barcelona defense.
Only Barcelona substitute Asisat Oshoala was able to breach Lyon’s goal, scoring in the 89th on a three-on-three counterattack in a match otherwise easily dominated by the speedy Lyon.
Lluis Cortes, coach of the first Spanish club to reach the Women’s Champions League final, took positives from the season.
“This has to serve as a learning experience for us,” he said. “We are far from (Lyon) but we have taken a step forward. We have achieved something very difficult and it’s something for which we can carry our heads high.”
Barcelona’s Toni Duggan wasted a clear chance in the fourth minute with a razing shot wide left which could have set a different pace for the final, but Lyon amply demonstrated the quality which has netted 17 French League titles since 1991 and nine French Cup trophies since 2003.
Asked about the Lyon players, including the French, who will be competing for their national teams at the World Cup, Pedros said defeat in Budapest wouldn’t have been “logical.”
“We wanted them to leave the club with a smile on their face,” he said.
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