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Barcelona in the Women’s Champions League final after their first win ever against PSG

A narrow, 2-1, win against PSG was enough to put Barcelona in the Women’s Champions League final. After the first leg draw, 2 goals from Lieke Martens sealed the deal for the Catalans and sent them to Gotheburg where they will face Chelsea.

Lieke Martens replaced Mariona Caldentey in the starting line-up for Blaugrana. Alana Cook, who scored the only PSG goal in the first leg, started on the bench, replaced by Ramona Bachmann. Kadidiatou Diani was still missing due to injury. After a long time, Barcelona had support from the stands again since 1000 spectators were allowed to attend the game.

1st half

The match has started with great intensity of both teams. The home team got into the lead soon. Already in the 8th minute, Leila Ouahabi sent a lob pass to Lieke Martens, who finished a fast counter-attack with a finesse shot into the far corner. Despite a conceded goal, things didn’t change much for Parisians who still had to score at least once. Blaugrana’s pressure caused a lot of problems for PSG who couldn’t really build up their game. Their dominance in the midfield was rewarded in the 31st minute. Caroline Graham Hansen sent a low cross from the right side, Martens timed her run well and pushed the ball into the net at the far post. But just 3 minutes later, the guest got a goal back. After a corner and some pinball in the Barcelona’s goalkeeper area, Marie-Antoinette Katoto reacted the quickest and returned the PSG back into the tie who needed now just one more goal to go through.

2nd half

Both teams started the second half similarly they ended the first. With an open and dynamic performance on both ends. In the 51st minute, Christiane Endler dropped the ball of what should be a routine catch. Alexia Putellas got first to the ball and the Chilean keeper dived into her feet, but the referee waved play on. A very doubtful decision. Ramona Bachmann found herself in a promising counter-attack and forced a save from Sandra Panos. PSG started pushing more but failed to get into a real goalscoring opportunity. On the other side, Jenni Hermoso hit the post with a low shot from the middle of the penalty area after a corner. Just a minute later, Barcelona hit the woodwork again. The same as before, after the corner, Marta Torrejon headed a lob towards the goal that ended on the top of the crossbar. Both teams were looking for a goal that would have probably been decisive. Panos denied Marie-Antoinette Katoto‘s shot. Azizat Oshoala came 1-on-1 with Endler who kept Paris SG in the game with a leg save. Despite a huge effort at the end, Parisians couldn’t get the second goal that would put them through and Barcelona will play the 2nd Women’s Champions League final in the last 3 years.

Paris showed a lot of spirit and determination but lack of experience of high-profile matches for the Parisians could have been decisive. On the other side, Barcelona will travel to Gotheburg thanks to a brace from Lieke Martens and try to secure their first Women’s Champions League title against Chelsea, who knocked out Bayern.

Reactions

“I’m very proud of this team. Before the match I told them that, whatever happened today, I’d still feel super proud of them – that they’d nothing to prove to me or to themselves and that we were in this semi-final on merit. We knew beforehand how much Paris would demand of us and that we really needed not to get caught playing too deep. I think it might be that we didn’t ‘own’ the ball as much as we often do, but this was one of the best teams in Europe we’ve just knocked out. Two years ago, in Budapest, we went to really live the experience of our first Champions League final, but this time we are going to Gothenburg to win.” – Lluís Cortés, Barcelona’s head coach

“There’s disappointment, obviously. There’s also a lot of frustration and sadness at the idea of going out so close to the final. We gave a lot, both in the home game and the away game. But we were also missing a lot of things we needed to go through. With one goal more we would have qualified for the final, and unfortunately we couldn’t get it. Barcelona created chances, but so did we. At this level, it’s essential to be clinical. In the first half, Barcelona created two chances and scored two goals. That’s what we need to correct.” – Olivier Echouafni, PSG’s head coach

via uefa.com

Score

FC Barcelona – Paris SG agg. 3-2

2nd leg

FC Barcelona – Paris SG 2-1 (2-1)
Scorers:
8′ Lieke Martens (B), 31′ Lieke Martens (B), 34′ Marie-Antoinette Katoto (P)
Yellow cards:
45′ Ashley Lawrence (P), 61′ Paulina Dudek (P), 67′ Andrea Pereira (B), 78′ Sandra Panos (B), 85′ Azizat Oshoala (B), 90+2′ Mariona Caldentey (B), 90+4′ Alexia Putellas (B)

1st leg

Paris SG – FC Barcelona 1-1 (1-1)
Scorers:
13′ Jennifer Hermoso (B), 21′ Alana Cook (P)
Yellow cards:
30′ Formiga (P), 36′ Andrea Pereira (B), 52′ Perle Morroni (P), 63′ Mapi Leon (B)

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