Did Chelsea mess up with Lauren James snub?! Winners & losers as Blues fall out of the Women's Champions League with Barcelona on to final

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Lauren James Chelsea Barcelona 2 2022-23
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The England star was among the substitutes for both legs of the Blues' UWCL semi-final, which Barcelona won on aggregate

Chelsea were pipped to a place in this year's Women's Champions League final as Barcelona beat them 2-1 on aggregate in their semi-final tie.

Caroline Graham Hansen scored both of Barca's goals across the two legs, her world-class quality out wide making a huge difference on the biggest stage.

The Blues did well to hold them to a draw at Camp Nou, with Guro Reiten equalising, but, ultimately, it wasn't enough to get over the line.

GOAL breaks down the winners and losers from another big European night in Catalunya...

  1. WINNER: Caroline Graham Hansen
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    WINNER: Caroline Graham Hansen

    Caroline Graham Hansen's goals were the difference as Barcelona reached the UWCL final, with her scoring in both legs.

    Her strike at Camp Nou wasn't as eye-catching as the one at Stamford Bridge, but it was one that showed her world-class quality out wide.

    She helped the Catalans break through a tough Chelsea defence in both games, her individual quality changing the complex of her team's attack once more.

    The Blues set up with a back three and that made it difficult for Barca to get more opportunities centrally. Enter the best winger in the world when it comes to one-v-one situations - and arguably the best winger in the world, full stop.

    Jonatan Giraldez's side have had to cope without Graham Hansen for a large chunk of the season due to injury but she is in top form now as they start to build towards that European final in early June.

  2. LOSER: Magdalena Eriksson

    LOSER: Magdalena Eriksson

    The poor player who had to deal with Graham Hansen? That was Magdalena Eriksson.

    That's a difficult task for any player but particularly one who isn't getting a lot of help in doing it. Eriksson started on the left hand side of Chelsea's back three, with Graham Hansen getting joy from bursting into the space left behind Niamh Charles, the Blues' left wing-back on the night.

    Charles didn't track back enough to help out her team-mate and that left her exposed, one-v-one against the Barca winger, several times. It's a situation Graham Hansen relishes and she certainly did again at Camp Nou.

  3. WINNER: Jessie Fleming
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    WINNER: Jessie Fleming

    It's been tough for Jessie Fleming since her move to Chelsea, which came three years ago now.

    The midfielder has still yet to nail down a starting spot in Emma Hayes' XI but when she was entrusted with one on Thursday night, she showed why she deserves more of them.

    Fleming added real quality in possession throughout the game, even when the Blues struggled in it, and her movement off the ball was good, too, when the visitors were able to progress up the pitch on the attack.

    With an Olympic gold medal to her name, an achievement she played a huge part in for Canada, the 25-year-old is a player for the big occasion. When will we start to see her more involved in them for her club?

  4. LOSER: Lauren James

    LOSER: Lauren James

    She has been one of Chelsea's star players this season but Lauren James found herself among the substitutes for both legs of this semi-final tie.

    Chelsea perhaps believed that her agile, wonderful dribbling ability would be best served when Barca's defence started to get tired late on. But does Barca's defence has too much stamina for that to be a viable approach.

    In the opening moments of the game, the hosts looked shaky and had some poor moments at the back where they lost the ball. Could James have had an impact in that spell?

    It's all hypothetical now and Hayes will have her reasons for the decisions, of course, but it did come as a surprise that she started neither of these two games given the ability she has to produce a moment of magic, especially in transition.

  5. WINNER: Alexia Putellas
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    WINNER: Alexia Putellas

    An unused substitute, Alexia Putellas didn't get the heroic return at Camp Nou that she might've hoped, but that she was back in a matchday squad for the first time in 300 days was still a wonderful thing to see.

    The two-time Ballon d'Or winner has been sidelined for over nine months after suffering an ACL injury in the most heart-breaking way last July, with it happening on the eve of the 2022 Women's Euros kicking off.

    After so much hard work, she's now on the brink of that return to action and could really give Barca a boost as they prepare for a fourth Champions League final in five years.