Chelsea were stunned in one minute when Melanie Leupolz inadvertently looped the ball into her own net, before giving up a penalty shortly after.
In less than a quarter of an hour, Barcelona were already 2-0 ahead and headed for a third, ultimately winning 4-0 to claim their very first Women’s Champions League final trophy.
It was a tough loss in Chelsea’s first appearance in the European final, but Hayes felt a touch of inexperience sometimes cost him.
She said BT Sport: “It was a wonderful season for us, today was tough because the game was over before it started and that’s what it’s so hard to think about.
“To concede so early, we had two good chances and then they got the second thanks to the penalty.
“Ann didn’t have any stoppages to make but we lost 4-0, but the damage was done, I’m proud of the performance in the second half, the players gave everything.
“Congratulations to Barcelona, they are worthy winners, deserve the title and that is something that we are going to learn because it is the next step. We have sometimes shown a certain naivety.
“They were favorites for a reason and you have to stay in the game against this team. The early goal and the way we conceded it… It’s an own goal and a penalty and we are 2-0.
“That’s the difference. It all fell off for them – they got the friction of the green and they made it happen. They are a great team… I will certainly be gracious in the event of a defeat.
“Being in that position helps because, like I told the players, look at the scoreboard. It must be a motivator when they come back for the preseason because it will stay with them through the summer.
“I felt calm coming into the game, but I think part of the inexperience took its toll on us. But they will grow and improve from it. They are all very proud of the change they have made.
“We won the one-two, so we’re not without a trophy, but I’m gutted that I didn’t have the chance to make it into a game. I did my best, I tried to train the players and change some things, just to give us some momentum.
“We’re not quite European champions, but we’re second best and I’ll take that as a step in the right direction. “
Bright: a massive learning curve
Defender Millie Bright also said Chelsea would learn from their loss, but her side were unable to hide their chances.
“It’s disappointing, we didn’t get the start of the game we wanted, but in this game against these opponents you can’t concede sloppy goals,” she said. BT Sport.
“They had four chances in the first half and scored four goals in the back of the net. It’s a huge learning curve, but we’re proud of the journey.
“We had chances, but we couldn’t put the ball away.
“Congratulations to Barça, they are an incredible team and deserve it. We will come back better and stronger for next time. “