Czech Republic

Ballon d'Or winner Hegerberg plays first game in 625 days as Lyon make winning UWCL start, 5 October 2021, 20:04
The competition record goalscorer ended her long layoff following a succession of debilitating injuries with a late cameo off the bench

Lyon striker Ada Hegerberg played her first game in 625 days as Sonia Bompastor's side made a winning start to the new UEFA Women's Champions League campaign against Hacken.

Finishes from Melvine Malard and Catarina Macario - the latter's sixth of the season - plus an own goal from Stine Larsen, ensured a 3-0 victory on Les Fenottes's UWCL return.

The 2018 Ballon d'Or Feminin winner and competition record goalscorer ended her near-two-year horrorshow layoff following a succession of debilitating injuries with a late cameo off the bench.

What happened?

Named on the bench ahead of kick-off, the chance of a first match since January 2020 represents the end of a long wait for Hegerberg following a difficult period plagued by fitness issues.

Over 20 months on from an anterior cruciate ligament injury, the former Norway international - whose haul of 53 finishes is an all-time record in the UWCL - was brought on in the 79th minute.

The 26-year-old played out the rest of the match without issue, as Lyon wrapped up their 3-0 victory against the Swedish outfit at Bravida Arena in Gothenburg.

Macario continues hot streak

While her team-mate will have captured the headlines after her long lay-off, USWNT star Macario's finish shortly after half-time continued her superb start to the season for Lyon.

The 22-year-old, signed this year after leaving Stanford University, has been one of the most consistent performers of the new term so far, with half-a-dozen goals across all competitions to her name.

It continues a fine year for the attacking midfielder, who has already enjoyed SheBelieves Cup success and an Olympic bronze medal at international level since January.

The bigger picture

With her first minutes locked in, Hegerberg will be on the lookout to notch up her recovery to full fitness, with a further UWCL test set for next Thursday against Benfica.

She will hope to add to her record haul in the competition, while on the domestic front, she will aim to help Lyon keep their perfect start to the season intact.

The club have won their first five league games to stay three points ahead of Paris Saint-Germain at the summit.

Top News

21 March 2023 Tottenham Hotspur have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Emiliano Martinez, who has outlined his desire to stay at Aston Villa for "many years". 21 March 2023 Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke's SoFi Stadium is reportedly at risk of not being able to host the 2026 World Cup final. 21 March 2023 Wolverhampton Wanderers are reportedly expected to extend the contract of Nelson Semedo. 21 March 2023 Oleksandr Zinchenko has sent Arsenal fans into raptures as video emerged of him showing off his silky technique. 21 March 2023 Tottenham have made contact with Eintracht Frankfurt manager Oliver Glasner as a potential replacement for Antonio Conte. 21 March 2023 There are not many people in the world who can buy Manchester United but one footballer could stump up the cash. 21 March 2023 Liverpool are gearing up to be among the busiest Premier League clubs in the summer transfer window with a complete overhaul. 21 March 2023 Arsenal are chasing a first Premier League title in almost two decades but one eye is already on plans for the summer. 21 March 2023 Harry Redknapp is willing to help Ryan Mason if called upon to aid Tottenham in their hour of need. 21 March 2023 Roberto Mancini believes that a "classic" rivalry has formed between Italy and England ahead of the two nations locking horns in a Euro 2024 qualifier on Thursday. 21 March 2023 Cristiano Ronaldo was pictured training with his teammates after landing in Portugal ahead of their upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers. 21 March 2023 Michael O'Neill begins his second spell as Northern Ireland manager with a Euro 2024 qualifier against minnows San Marino on Thursday night. 21 March 2023 A mass of Argentina fans couldn't contain their excitement when they witnessed their World Cup hero Lionel Messi in person. 21 March 2023 Arsenal fan Laura Woods is buzzing to hear about a possible new deal for captain Martin Odegaard. 21 March 2023 The problems encountered by Antonio Conte at Tottenham are nothing new, based on Brendan Rodgers' comments from 10 years ago. 21 March 2023 England manager Gareth Southgate has been hit by three withdrawals ahead of their opening Euro 2024 qualifying Group C clash with reigning champions Italy on Thursday. 21 March 2023 Italy manager Roberto Mancini could hand a first Azzurri start to striker Mateo Retegui for Thursday's Euro 2024 qualifying Group C clash with England on Thursday. 21 March 2023 Manchester City forward Erling Braut Haaland has been forced to withdraw from the Norway squad due to injury. 21 March 2023 Manchester City remain in the hunt to win three trophies this season, with a Premier League title battle with Arsenal as well as quarter-final ties in the FA Cup and Champions League to come after March's international break. 21 March 2023 Chelsea and Manchester United are reportedly ready to end their interest in Roma forward Tammy Abraham. 21 March 2023 Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iceland will kick off their Euro 2024 qualifying campaigns when they face off in Zenica on Thursday evening. 21 March 2023 Erling Haaland will miss Norway's Euro 2024 qualifiers against Spain and Georgia after picking up a groin injury. 21 March 2023 Manchester City are expected to delve into the summer transfer market as they endeavour to continue competing for silverware on all fronts in 2023-24 and beyond. 21 March 2023 Arsenal are reportedly considering whether to make an approach for Red Bull Salzburg forward Noah Okafor. 21 March 2023 Prospective Manchester United owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe says he will not pay a 'stupid' price for Manchester United. 21 March 2023 Aleksandar Mitrovic faces a lengthy ban after being charged by the Football Association for his behaviour against Manchester United on Sunday. 21 March 2023 Crystal Palace have confirmed that Roy Hodgson has been re-appointed as the club's manager until the end of the season. 21 March 2023 Former Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur striker Emmanuel Adebayor has announced his retirement from football at the age of 39. 21 March 2023 Roy Hodgson has returned to Crystal Palace as manager until the end of the season, the Premier League club have confirmed. 21 March 2023 International football is back this week, and New Zealand will be playing their first game since their World Cup qualification process when they host China.