Real Madrid Femenino lost the first leg of their UEFA Women’s Champions League Quarterfinal tie against Barcelona 3-1 in the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano. Olga Carmona opened the scoring but Barcelona came back via an Alexia Putellas double and a Claudia Pina goal.
Las Blancas started the match with intensity. They pressed Barcelona high up the pitch and constantly put ball carriers under pressure. Real Madrid took an early lead via Olga Carmona in the eighth minute. Claudia Zornoza pressured Alexia Putellas. The Ballon d’Or winner misplaced her pass and Zornoza ran onto it. She passed to Esther, who released Olga. The winger made a great run off the back of the defense, received the ball from Esther, and slotted the ball past Sandra Paños and into the back of the net.
Barcelona improved as the half progressed but Real Madrid remained compact defensively and irritated their rivals. Esther created two chances for herself but was unable to double the lead. Real Madrid went into halftime up one goal.
The Catalans would get one back after a long VAR check that resulted in a penalty. Alexia Putellas stepped to the spot and sent Misa the wrong way, tying the match at 1-1 in the 53rd minute.
The reigning European champions grew into the match as Real Madrid tired and pressed with less intensity. Barcelona had more possession but still weren’t at their best when they had the ball.
Barcelona would capitalize in the 82nd minute. Caroline Graham Hansen cut it to Aitana Bonmati, who had her shot blocked. It fell right to substitute Claudia Pina and she converted. Alexia Putellas added a third in stoppage time and Barcelona would take a two-goal advantage into the second leg at the Camp Nou.
- 3’ Barcelona won a free kick in a dangerous area. Mapi Leon curled the ball to Alexia Putellas, who was unable to bring it down in the 18-yard box.
- 8’ Real Madrid opened the scoring through Olga Carmona, who scored her second UWCL goal. Claudia Zornoza pressured Putellas and forced her into a loose pass. Zornoza ran onto it and played it forward to Esther Gonzalez. The forward released Olga down the left. The left winger had time to pick out her spot and slotted it home, giving Las Blancas a surprise lead.
- 16’ Las Blancas ran a clever corner-kick routine that resulted in a shot that was very tame. Sandra Paños scooped the ball calmly.
- 20’ Barcelona upped the intensity as the half progressed. Around the 20th minute, they pressed higher up the pitch and were able to string passes together with more precision.
- 26’ After a sustained spell of pressure, Patri Guijarro fired a low shot from distance toward goal. Misa got down well to save it.
- 31’ Las Blancas looked to counter-attack through goal-scorer Olga Carmona but she was hacked down by Aitana Bonmati. The Barcelona midfielder was shown a yellow card.
- 38’ Real Madrid nearly made it 2-0. Zornoza played a free kick to Esther, who brought it down expertly. She unleashed a furious shot off the post.
- 40’ Esther had another chance to double the lead moments later. Rocio played a free kick over the top to the forward. She took a touch into the box and hit a low shot across goal. Sandra Paños got down quickly to make the save.
- 45+2’ Las Blancas saw out the first stanza and took a one-goal lead into halftime.
- 46’ Jonatan Giraldez made a half-time change, bringing on Claudia Pina for Leila Ouahabi.
- 49’ Fridolina Rolfo, who moved back to left back after the substitution, crossed the ball into the box. Misa flapped at it and Caroline Graham Hansen collapsed after she collided with Olga Carmona.
- 51’ The referee went to the monitor and awarded Barcelona a penalty.
- 53’ Alexia Putellas stepped up to the spot and converted.
- 54’ Barcelona turned the ball over in their own final third and it landed at the feet of Esther. She turned and fired from the top of the box but she couldn’t keep the ball down as it soared over the bar.
- 56’ Rolfo flew down the left flank and into the box. She played a cutback to Pina, who shanked it up and over the bar, letting Real Madrid off the hook.
- 66’ Ivana Andres and Caroline Moller Hansen came on for Rocio Galvez and Olga Carmona.
- As Real Madrid tired, they were less patient on the ball and struggled to relieve the pressure applied by Barcelona.
- 78’ Nahikari Garcia and Kenti Robles replaced Maite Oroz and Lucia Rodriguez.
- 81’ Barcelona took the lead through Claudia Pina. Graham Hansen cut past Sofie Svava and played it to Aitana. The midfielder fired a shot toward goal that was blocked right to Pina, who finished clinically.
Clàudia Pina breaks Real Madrid hearts pic.twitter.com/DCbquOhZzF— DAZN Football (@DAZNFootball) March 22, 2022
- 89’ Misa prevented a third goal late in the match. Barcelona tried to bundle a corner kick over the line but Misa punched the ball up and over the crossbar.
- 90+3’ The Catalans would get their third, however. Alexia Putellas chipped Misa at the end of the match to put the game to bed.
Real Madrid Femenino are back in action in the league against Levante on Saturday, March 26. Kick off in the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano is scheduled for 7:00 a.m. EST (12:00 p.m. CEST). The second leg of the UWCL Quarterfinal is on Wednesday, March 30. Las Blancas will travel to a sold-out Camp Nou down two goals on aggregate.