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This Week in Barça Femení: Still perfect, somehow better

The lesson from the first two months of the season is clear: winning the Treble wasn’t enough for Barça’s ladies

FC Barcelona v Arsenal WFC: Group C - UEFA Women’s Champions League Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images

Barcelona’s women’s team continued their perfect start to the 2021-22 season with two more games last week, and they’re now undefeated through the first nine games of the campaign with another two excellent performances that prove that this team is hungry to be even better than last season’s Treble winners.

Last Thursday Barça Femení traveled to Denmark for their second Champions League group stage game, away to HB Koge. Koge is the worst team in the group and this was the penultimate match in a brutal schedule with 7 games in 21 days, so manager Jonatan Giráldez decided to rotate his squad and rest the likes of Irene Paredes, Mapi León, Patri Guijarro, Aitana Bonmatí and Alexia Putellas.

And what a rotation it was: Barça came out with a crazy formation with just one holding midfielder and essentially five strikers in a 4-1-4-1 shape. The team seemed a little disjointed early on with Jenny Hermoso (making her first start of the season) and Bruna Vilamala a little out of place having to play as interior midfielders, but they soon understood their roles and Barça began dominating.

They finished the game with 31 shots and 82% possession, but somehow only won 2-0 and needed a 95th minute goal from Hermoso to secure the victory. The win was never in doubt, but it was quite strange to see Barça only score two goals.

But we didn’t need to wait long to see plenty of goals again. Thanks to the lack of respect for the women’s game still existing in 2021, Barça went from a Thursday night match in Denmark to a 12pm Sunday kickoff away to Sporting Huelva. That didn’t stop them from being amazing, though.

With their best players all back from the rest in midweek, Barça were dominant from the start and although they needed to wait 30 minutes for the opening goal, a second half avalanche guaranteed a 5-0 victory. Top scorer Alexia got her eighth goal of the season, Aitana added two of her own and Paredes scored her first goal for Barça.

Now the women’s game goes into an international break, and 19 of the 22 members of Barça’s squad will represent their national teams over the next two weeks. When they return, they will hope to continue a truly breathtaking start to the season and clinch a place in the Champions League knockout stages.

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