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This Week in Barça Femení: Home Stretch

Barça return from the international break with a big win to start a season-defining stretch

Rayo Vallecano de Madrid Women v FC Barcelona Women - Copa de la Reina Photo by Alvaro Medranda/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

Barcelona’s all-conquering women’s team returned to action after the international break with their Copa de la Reina debut away to Rayo Vallecano in Madrid. The defending champions are hoping to win the Cup again in their quest for a historic repeat Treble, and they confirmed their favorite status in the Round of 16 on Wednesday.

It wasn’t a vintage performance by any means, with the team somewhat struggling at times with so many players having just come back from their international commitments. But Barça still showed their superiority and got the goals from their best players: Jenni Hermoso had a brace, and Alexia Putellas added a third in what was a comfortable 3-1 win in the end.

Barça already know who they will face in the quarterfinals: Femení will travel to the Basque Country to face Real Sociedad, who have been the second-best team in the Primera División all season. But Barça won 9-1 the last time these two teams faced, so things don’t look great for La Real ahead of their Cup meeting in two weeks.

This was a very good week for Femení, but there is some bad news as superstar winger Lieke Martens will miss some time with a muscle injury, the club announced on Thursday. Barça’s statement suggests it is not a serious issue but Martens is expected to miss the league match against Alavés on Sunday, but Lieke should be ready for the Champions League quarterfinals against Real Madrid in three weeks.

We are in the home stretch of the women’s season in Spain, and Barça are very close to the league title which will allow them to focus fully on their Cup commitments. Every game matters from now on, and Femení look more than ready.