The players managed by Xavi Llorens' fought hard in their Champions League debut this afternoon, but the Gunners were lethal in front of goal
The return leg of the Round of 32 will be played in London on Thursday, October 4, at 15.00 (local time)
FC Barcelona, 0
Arsenal Ladies, 3
FC Barcelona: Sullastres, Lau, Mely, Mel (Ani, 57’), Marta Unzué, Corredera, Míriam, Sonia, Alexia (Guti, 76’), Virginia i Karol (Olga, 57’) .
Arsenal Ladies: Byrne, Houghton, Flaherty, Grant, Nobbs, White (Davison, 68'), Yankey (Carter, 77'), Beattle, Little, Chapman i Scott.
Goals: 0-1, Beattie (31’); 0-2, Nobbs (54’); 0-3 Chapman (67’)
Referee: Christine Baitinger.
The Azulgranas, who created many more goalscoring chances than Arsenal Ladies, lost at the Miniestadi in their Women’s Champions League debut. Goals from Beattie (min 31), Nobbs (min 54) and Chapman (min 66) gives the London-based side an excellent advantage ahead of the Round of 32 return leg.
Xavi Llorens’ players were sublime in the first 45 minutes of the match. The Azulgranas didn’t shy away from their first-ever Champions League game and dominated much of the first half. The first goalscoring chance fell to Sonia Bermúdez after only two minutes of play. 12 minutes later Marta Corredera could have scored the opener on a corner kick but the striker’s shot was cleared off the line by Arsenal Ladies’ defence.
... the Gunners fire away
Barça were clearly the better side in the first half, and on 26 minutes Bermudéz had a golden chance to fire her team ahead but the attempt was saved by Emma Byrne. Five minutes later Arsenal grabbed the opener. On a corner kick, Beattie headed in the Gunners’ first. The 0-1 hurt Barça and emboldened Arsenal.
Jordan Nobbs kills the game off
Arsenal slowly took control of the game after the break. Jordan Nobbs, nine minutes into the second half, surprised Esther Sullastres, who was off her line, with a fantastic strike to make it 0-2. It was a critical moment for the Azulgranas. On 60 minutes Houghton sent the ball to the crossbar, it was a warning of what was to come. Minutes later, Arsenal Ladies had a free kick right outside the Barça area, Sullastres saved the shot but was unable to hold onto the ball; Katie Chapman pounced on the rebound to make it 0-3.
Barça will attempt to overturn the three-goal deficit next week when they face the London-based side in England.