Barcelona recovered from two targets down as they beat VfL Wolfsburg 3-2 to win the UEFA Women’s Champions League on Saturday in an exciting last on the Philips Stadion in Eindhoven.
Fridolina Rolfo struck the winner within the seventieth minute after Patri Guijarro had scored twice in two minutes initially of the second half as Barca fought again to say the trophy for the second time in three years.
Goals from Ewa Pajor and Alexandra Popp had given two-time winners Wolfsburg a snug lead going into half-time, however the German facet collapsed after the break as Barca ramped up the stress.
Barca had been showing of their fourth last within the final 5 years and the style of their comeback will give solution to arguments that they’re now the dominant workforce in European soccer.
Lyon will rightly contest that, although. They have gained six of the final eight Champions Leagues and have by no means misplaced within the competitors to Barca, who they beat within the 2019 and 2022 finals.
However, Jonatan Giraldez’s facet are right here to remain. They gained a fourth straight Liga F title in Spain, too, and not too long ago noticed a 64-sport unbeaten streak within the league ended.
Wolfsburg’s season, in the meantime, ends in disappointment. They additionally missed out on the Frauen-Bundesliga, pipped to prime spot by Bayern Munich, though they did win the DFB-Pokal Frauen.
“I am so emotional … I never thought this would happent,” Rolfo stated postmatch. “At 2-0, at the beginning, I thought we can do it. It was really hard, but we showed so much mentality today and I am so proud of the team.”
Barca, who beat Wolfsburg 5-3 on mixture in final 12 months’s semifinal, had been favourites going into the sport however produced a primary half efficiency which introduced again reminiscences of final 12 months’s last defeat to Lyon, after they trailed 3-0 after 33 minutes.
It took simply three minutes for Wolfsburg to open the scoring. Lucy Bronze was caught on the ball by Poland ahead Pajor, who smashed dwelling her ninth purpose on this season’s competitors from the sting of the field.
Irene Paredes and Caroline Graham Hansen each missed nice possibilities to stage earlier than Barca had been as soon as once more caught out on the again. Popp outmuscled Mapi Leon to seek out house within the field and head dwelling Pajor’s cross within the thirty seventh minute, scoring in her fourth Champions League last.
Salma Paralluelo virtually pulled one again earlier than half-time, however she was denied by a superb save by Merle Frohms. Frohms couldn’t come to Wolfsburg’s rescue within the second half, although, as they buckled below intense stress within the first 5 minutes after the break.
Graham Hansen did brilliantly to arrange Guijarro to show dwelling within the forty eighth minute and, two minutes later, the midfielder added her second purpose of the sport, heading in an Aitana Bonmati cross.
Barca took management of the ball from there, however Wolfsburg remained a risk on the break. Pajor twice drew saves from Sandra Panos.
The Spanish champions at all times regarded the extra prone to go on and win the sport, although, and that proved the case when Sweden worldwide Rolfo took benefit of some hesitant defending to rifle dwelling in opposition to her former facet with 20 minutes to play and settle the ultimate.
Two-time Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas, who solely not too long ago returned from an anterior cruciate ligament harm, got here off the bench late on to assist Barca see out seven minutes of stoppage time to spark celebrations among the many greater than 10,000 Blaugrana supporters in Eindhoven.
“I think this game had every emotion you could possibly have,” Graham Hansen stated. “From two goals down, then we score two quick goals and then you have to wait… but champions again. I am so happy.
“At half-time, 2-0 down, I had a giant flashback from the final last, and it was like, it isn’t going to occur once more. We go on the market and switch the sport round and win it.”