Two-goal cushion for Barca Femeni in UWCL
It has been a successful couple of days for Barcelona teams in Madrid. The men’s won 4-0 on Sunday, and just 48 hours later, the women’s take a 3-1 lead into the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie with Madrid next week.
This women’s Clasico triumph felt much more than just a win. Barca Women came back from 1-0 in the first half to score three goals in the second and take control of this Champions League quarter-final. The advantage could have been extended in the second half, but they still bring a healthy lead to the return leg next Wednesday, March 30, at Camp Nou.
Barca were far from their best and faced a very competitive Madrid side, but Femeni eventually showed their superiority in the second half and found the winning goals to give themselves a chance to finish the job in front of a packed Camp Nou next Wednesday.
Barca were quite simply unrecognizable in the first half, playing the worst 45 minutes of their season so far. A lot of their poor play had to do with a great Real Madrid team that came out with incredible intensity and suffocating pressure without the ball, and they were very dangerous whenever they had the ball.
The game began with high pressing from Real Madrid, finding ways over and through the Barca defence. This bore fruit as Esther Gonzalez carried the ball forward, slid the ball out to the left, and Olga Carmona finished across Panos from inside the area. Barca Women couldn’t find their rhythm and didn’t have their first shot until 26 minutes when Misa saved well down to her right from a Patri shot from the edge of the area.
Barca were starting to find their feet, but Real Madrid continued to threaten, and the lively Esther González hit the post on the 38th minute before Panos saved another of her shots.
Madrid went forward in the dying moments looking for a late equalizer but couldn’t find a way past Sandra Panos and conceded a third goal on the counter-attack when Patri Guijarro found Alexia all alone. The world’s best player chipped the keeper to make it 3-1 at the death.
The final whistle gave Barca the win and a comfortable advantage going into the second leg. They didn’t play nearly as well as they have all season, but knockout football is all about the wins, and Barca got it. Now they come home to Camp Nou in front of 90,000 fans, with a chance to show how good they really are and book a place in the semi-final.