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Stars both on the ball and on the pitch. FC Barcelona's first Champions League game of the season was a real statement of intent, as the blaugranas defeated Benfica 5-0.
Benfica start well but Barça get the first goal
The blaugranas took to the field with a good start in Europe a must, but their opponents Benfica clearly had the same aim. They took the game to the home side both in attack where they looked dangerous on occasion, and in defence, successfully blocking the passing lanes for Jonatan Giráldez' side.
Graham Hansen provided the spark for the blaugranas going forward and the first goal came after she shot from inside the area, the rebound spooning up for Alexia, who headed past Pauels (1-0, min 15). A landmark goal as she became the club's all-time top scorer in the Champions League (20).
The goal seemed to settle the home side, who doubled their advantage when Mapi León swung in a deep left footed cross from the right that Brugts met with a header that was goalbound, Alexia making sure it went in for her second of the night (2-0, min. 40). Soon afterwards Aitana showed all her class by cutting back onto her right foot to score the 3rd goal on 44 minutes after good work by Graham Hansen.
Second half control
Aitana grabbed her second of the game not long after restart, Graham Hansen again providing the assist (4-0, min 52). The expected changes came in the second half and Oshoala didn't take long to join the party, scoring a wonderful acrobatic volley, as she had a lot to do given the ball was behind her (5-0, min. 61).
All in all a good day for the blaugranas, which saw another substitute in Claudia Pina feature in her 100th game for the club. The match was also coach Jonatan Giráldez' 100th game in charge of the team and he was able to celebrate it with an opening win in this season's premier European club competition.
Barça: Cata Coll, María León, Marta, Mariona (Oshoala, min. 60) , Graham (Vicky López, min. 77), Alexia (Patri, min 46), Aitana, Walsh, O. Batlle, Engen, Brugts (Paralluelo, min. 60)
Benfica: Pauels, Alidou (Norton, min. 65), Ana Seiça, Andreia Faira, Francisca Nazareth (Martins, min. 87), Jéssica Silva (Marta Cintra, min. 65), Lucia Alves (Almeida, min. 87), Catarina Amado, Gasper, Falcón (Raysla, min. 57), Araujo
Goals: 1-0, Alexia Putellas (min. 15); 2-0, Alexia Putellas (min. 39); 3-0, Aitana (min. 44); 4-0, Aitana (min. 52); 5-0, Oshoala (min. 61).
Referees: Lina Lehtovaara, Heini Hyvönen, Tonja Weckström. Yellow cards for Catarina Amado and Lucia Alves from Benfica
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