Barcelona have advanced to the Women’s Champions League semi-finals thanks to a memorable 5-2 win over Real Madrid in the second leg of their quarterfinal tie, in front of almost 92,000 fans at Camp Nou in a historic night for women’s football. The largest crowd ever for a women’s match saw an amazing game, with both sides playing very well and Barça showing their superiority with four second half goals to get the victory in a truly unforgettable night at the Greatest Stadium on Earth.
Barça made a sensational start, dominating possession and playing their usual brand of attacking football full of quick passing and great movement. They scored an early goal thanks to Mapi León who tried a cross into the box that went over the keeper and into the net, and it seemed as though the home team were going to destroy Madrid.
But Las Blancas found a way to stay in the game, and scored an equalizer less than 10 mintues later through Olga Carmona. Madrid didn’t play as well as last week but still remained organized at the back, and avoided conceding more goals despite Barça’s good play.
Femení weren’t clinical in front of goal, which is why they didn’t score a second and as the first half ended the tie was still up for grabs, and Barça needed a strong second half to avoid the upset and give the crowd a reason to smile and celebrate.
The second half was quite simply a spectacle: it all started with a Goal of the Season contender by Real Madrid’s Claudia Zornoza, who saw Sandra Paños off her line and lobbed the Barça keeper with a 50-yard strike. It was an incredible goal, and for a moment Madrid were very much alive in the tie and needed just one goal to take the second leg to extra-time.
But the Barça Femení we had been waiting for the entire tie finally came to life: the home team played some truly breathtaking stuff and scored four goals in 18 minutes, with Aitana Bonmatí, Claudia Pina (with a Goal of the Season contender of her own), captain Alexia Putellas and Caroline Graham Hansen all finding the back of the net to clinch the victory and a spot in the semi-finals.
The final minutes didn’t have a lot of action on the pitch, but it was a party for the fans who celebrated the home team as well as the announcement of the attendance of 91,553, the world record for a women’s match. The final whistle came, and Barça put on a show on what will go down as one of the greatest nights in women’s footbal. Well done, ladies!
Barcelona: Paños; Marta (Crnogorcevic 72’), Paredes (Pereira 81’), Mapi, Rolfö; Aitana, Patri (Engen 72’), Alexia; Graham, Hermoso (Leila 72’), Pina (Melanie 81’)
Goals: Mapi (8’), Aitana (52’), Pina (55’), Alexia (62’), Graham (70’)
Real Madrid: Misa; Lucía, Peter (Rocío 74’), Ivana, Svava (Robles 74’); Teresa (Claudia 85’), Zornoza; Athenea, Maite, Olga (Moller 66’); Esther (Nahikari 66’)
Goals: Olga (pen 16’), Zornoza (48’)