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A second Women's Champions League group stage win for FC Barcelona of the season, this time away to Eintracht Frankfurt at the Stadion am Brentanobad stadium in Germany. The blaugranes were made to work hard for their 1-3 win after the hosts took a first half lead, but a brace from Salma and Mariona's 100th goal for the Club sealed the comeback victory.
Hosts difficult to penetrate
The chilly temperature in Germany seemed to affect the blaugranes' start to the game as it took time for their passing play to get into gear. Eintracht Frankfurt came out with a good game plan to remain in a block, stifling the main threats posed by Mariona and Aitana in the centre of the pitch, while looking dangerous themselves on the break.
As a result, the few efforts on the Frankfurt goal came from distance, without really troubling keeper Johannes. Little by little Barça made inroads into the Germans' half, with Mariona having another couple of shots saved. Sandra Paños hadn't had that much to do at the other end, as Engen patrolled well in front of her from centre back.
However, after a fine stop from Paños from Anyomi, the pressure exerted by the resulting corner wasn't really cleared and after a cross flew across the blaugrana box from the right, it was returned by Hanshaw from the left and Freigang headed in the first of the game for Frankfurt. Half-time 1-0.
Second half comeback
Coach Jonatan Giráldez moved Salma into the striker position for the second half, with Mariona shifted to inside left, allowing Ona Batlle to raid down the left. It didn't take long for the changes to take effect, Salma feeding Graham Hansen after 46 minutes, who shot over.
The equaliser came just two minutes later, an unmarked Salma finishing an Ona Batlle cross from the left from inside the box. The visitors were clearly spurred on by the goal, Mariona sliding Aitana in soon after, but her shot was saved.
A second goal was coming and this was starting to turn into a classic game of two halves. On 58 minutes, Mapi Leon swung in a corner from the right that Bronze headed back into the penalty area, which the Frankfurt keeper fumbled, and a grateful Mariona fired in the loose ball to score her 100th for FC Barcelona and complete the turnaround.
The hosts were starting to cede ground and with the wind in their sails, the blaugranes pressed for another goal, which came via a bit of fortune, a Graham Hansen pass rebounding to its intended target Aitana, who crossed for Salma to score her second and make it 1-3 after 62 minutes.
The rest of the game was managed well, with Keira Walsh and the rest of the midfield showing great industry. Paños had to get down smartly after a shot from inside the area with eight minutes to go, but the comeback win was confirmed as the Czech referee brought proceedings to an end. That's two wins out of two in the Champions League now, as the holders march on.
Eintracht Frankfurt, 1
Eintracht Frankfurt: Johannes, Wolter, Kleinherne, Doorsoun, Hanshaw, Reuteler (Gräwe, min 70), Pawollek, Dunst, Anyomi, Freigang, Prašnikar,
Barça: Sandra Paños, Bronze (Torrejón, min 78), Engen, Mapi, Ona Batlle (Corrales, min 87), Aitana, Walsh, Patri, Graham Hansen (Brugts, min 75), Mariona (Pina, min 78), Salma (Vicky, min 87)
Goals: 1-0, Freigang (min 42); 1-1, Salma (min 48); 1-2, Mariona (min 58); 1-3, Salma (min 61)
Referee: Jana Adámková. Yellow cards for Mariona (min 66) and Ona Batlle (min 67).
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