Barcelona Femení have won their second Women’s Champions League, and after dominating the 2021 Final they had to go through a much more dramatic road to wear the European crown this time, needing a three-goal second half comeback against Wolfsburg to claim their second title in three years.
The first half went a lot like much of 2023 for Barça: up front there was a lot of possession, a few half-chances, but no real efficiency inside the box; at the back, poor mistakes due to lack of concentration and bad goals conceded.
And that formula saw Barça two goals down after the first 45 minutes: the opening goal came from a Lucy Bronze mistake as the Blaugrana full-back gave the ball away and Ewa Pajor scored a fantastic goal from distance to give Wolfsburg the lead. Close to halftime, a painful blow: a cross from Pajor found Alexandra Popp all alone at the far post, and the veteran German striker headed home what at the time felt like a knockout blow.
But Jonatan Giráldez worked his magic with the halftime break, and we finally saw the Barça Femení that dominated European football for the last three years: they utterly blitzed the Germans, and made it 2-2 before most fans at the stadium could sit down after some halftime drinks.
And the source of the goals was very unlikely: holding midfielder Patri Guijarro, who showed amazing striker instincts and scored two big goals after excellent assists from Caroline Graham Hansen and Aitana Bonmatí.
Patricia Guijarro gets one back for Barcelona— DAZN Football (@DAZNFootball) June 3, 2023
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IT'S A BRACE FOR PATRICIA GUIJARRO AND WE ARE LEVEL IN THE #UWCLFINAL— DAZN Football (@DAZNFootball) June 3, 2023
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Wolfsburg were clearly affected by the goals and could no longer protect their box with the same level of defensive efficiency as the first half, and the winning goal felt like a matter of time.
And with 20 minutes to go, the winner came: after a bad mistake by the Wolfsburg defense and a scramble in the box the ball fell to Fridolina Rolfö, who wasn’t afraid to punish her former club and fully celebrated the biggest goal of her career.
FRIDOLINA ROLFÖ SCORES TO COMPLETE THE COMEBACK FOR BARCELONA— DAZN Football (@DAZNFootball) June 3, 2023
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Captain Alexia Putellas came on at the end of the game to help preserve the win, and the final whistle came to give Barça their second Europen crown on the women’s side. This was dramatic and it felt hopeless at halftime, but the real Barça Femení showed up when it mattered.
Europe is theirs again, and this team is ready to continue dominating the continent.
Well done, ladies!!!