Chelsea’s quest for a first Women’s Champions League title ended in a chastening 4-0 defeat after a calamitous first half against Barcelona in Gothenburg.
Barca led after just 33 seconds through a desperately unfortunate Melanie Leupolz own goal and a rattled Blues side were 4-0 down and as good as beaten after 36 minutes.
Chelsea created chances throughout but their finishing was no match for their ruthless opponents, whose scintillating first-half efforts allowed them to sit deep and defend their lead with relative ease.
The damage was done by a sloppy Chelsea start that left boss Emma Hayes looking stunned as her side trailed inside a minute when they lost possession cheaply on the right.
A stretched defence seemed to have escaped punishment as Lieke Martens’ strike smashed off the bar, but Fran Kirby’s clearance looped into the top corner off Leupolz.
Pernille Harder wasted two glorious opportunities to level, scooping a first-time effort over the bar from Jess Carter’s cross and then lacking conviction when one-on-one with keeper Sandra Panos.
The missed proved costly as the Catalans’ pace and precision proved too much for the rattled Women’s Super League Champions, who were soon 3-0 down.
Alexia Putellas stroked home a second from the penalty spot, harshly awarded when Leupolz tangled legs with Jenni Hermoso as the German attempted to block a shot.
And Martens and Jenni Hermoso combined sweetly to find Aitana Bonmati, who calmly slipped the ball past Ann-Katrin Berger.
Sam Kerr could have replied but lobbed an effort wide from Ji So-Yun’s pass as Panos raced out of her goal and Martens then made it 4-0.
The impressive Dutch winger teased and tormented Charles on the right and picked out Caroline Graham Hansen who had the simple task of tapping the ball home from three yards.
Chelsea’s spirit and attitude was never in question but chances were still wasted – notably by Harder and Kerr – and Barca cruised to their first ever Women’s Champions League title.