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Immediate Reaction: Real Madrid Femenino 1-0 WFC Zhytlobud 1 Kharkiv

Lorena Navarro scores as Las Blancas win their opening UWCL Group Stage match.

WFC Zhytlobud-1 Kharkiv v Real Madrid: Group B - UEFA Women’s Champions League Photo by Stanislav Vedmid/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Real Madrid Femenino opened their UEFA Women’s Champions League Group Stage with a 1-0 win over WFC Zhytlobud 1 Kharkiv in Ukraine. Las Blancas continue to struggle with injury as Maite Oroz was not listed in the squad due to an injury picked up yesterday in training. Real Madrid rolled out an unfamiliar 3-5-2 and they struggled to connect early on. But Las Blancas found the opening goal via Lorena Navarro. After the goal, Madrid played much better and looked confident on the ball to close out the first half.

Las Blancas created a few opportunities in the second half but never really tested the Kharkiv keeper. Real Madrid was able to see out a very important result that not only gives them three points in the UWCL Group Stage, but could potential be a much needed spark going forward.

  • 5’ Lorena tried to split the defense with a pass. It deflected and nearly did what she intended to do. The ball rolled toward goal and Athenea tried to get on the end of it but the keeper came out and grabbed it.
  • Las Blancas’ nerves were evident. Early in the match, the team misplayed passes and didn’t seem to have a great idea of how they were supposed to operate in this formation.
  • 15’ Real Madrid attempted to hit on the counter attack through Athenea. She had her pocket picked and Kharkiv went the other way. It resulted in a shot from distance flying over the goal.
  • Real Madrid found a bit of success down the left. Olga Carmona stayed close to the touch line and after she recieved the ball looked to get down the flank and cross into the box.
  • 29’ Olga lost the ball on the left wing but won it back with a great intervention. She passed it to Lorena, who passed it to Claudia Zornoza. The former Levante midfielder played it to Nahikari Garcia in the box, who flashed a shot over the bar.
  • 32’ Olga found Nahikari in the box. The striker dropped it to Lorena and she blasted it over the bar.
  • 33’ Lorena quickly made up for her missed chance. Lucia crossed from the right and Lorena and Nahikari challenged for the ball in the air. It bounce off the Las Blancas players and fell to Lorena, who slid and flicked the ball into the back of the net.
  • Real Madrid were clearly boosted by the goal and started to play much better.
  • 43’ Nahikari played Athenea in on goal. The forward took the shot first time and pushed it wide of the post.
  • Real Madrid continued to dictate the tempo in the second half but Kharkiv was able to cause them a few more issues, making it harder to find space in the final third.
  • 56’ Las Blancas were still able to carve out opportunities. Nahikari dropped to help link up play which resulted in Lucia driving down the right with the ball. She crossed to Lorena. She rose and flicked her header wide of the post.
  • Kharkiv upped the tempo and pressed Real Madrid more which made it more difficult for Las Blancas to dominate like they did at the end of the first half.
  • After the spell of Kharkiv pressure, Real Madrid adjusted well and started to find the space and the open player to reestablish control.
  • Kenti Robles replaced Olga Carmona in the 75th minute as Real Madrid switched to a 5-back. Robles was the right wing back and Lucia swapped to the left wing back position.
  • 88’ Misa launched a goal kick up the pitch. Lorena flicked it on to substitute Marta Corredera, who flicked in to Caroline Moller Hansen. Moller was through on goal but took the shot early and fired it to the hands of the keeper.
  • Las Blancas saw out the result for an important three points in the UWCL Group Stage.

Real Madrid Femenino are back in action on Sunday. Las Blancas host Eibar looking for their first win in Primera Iberdrola.