The Barça women stormed to victory on Wednesday afternoon, 6-2 against Sevilla FC, to keep up the pressure on Liga leaders Atlético Madrid.
They took a rapid 3-0 lead through Martens once (a fine solo effort) and Oshoala twice (a terrific header off an Aitana assist and a clinical conversion of a pass from Andressa Alves). The Catalans also had a very clear penalty claim denied, but despite such a powering start, the visitors then pulled a couple back.
Karpova first beat Paños on the 35 minute mark and a María León own goal then meant there was just one goal between the sides.
But before the half time whistle blew, Van der Gragt quickly set Barça back on course with her first goal from the team off a corner.
The Andalusians caused plenty of post-break danger, and Barça looked to have lost their hold on the game before Aitana met a reboud off the crossbar to head in and make it 5-2, with Candela settling things for good in the 82nd minute following a tremendous assist from Claudia Pina.
This game was brought ahead from the weekend, when Barça have the biggest game in their history, a Champions League semi-final at home to Bayern Munich (12.00pm CET Sunday) and the chance to make good of their 1-0 lead from the first leg and reach the final of the competition for the first time ever.
Today’s win was a huge boost for their confidence ahead of that game, and also puts added pressure on Liga leaders Atlético, who have a tricky game with Valencia at the weekend.
Barça: Paños, Marta T. (Gemma Gili, min 72), Van Der Gragt, María León, Melanie, Aitana, Hamraoui, Andonova, Andressa Alves (Bárbara, min 72), Martens (Pina, min 66) & Oshoala (Candela, min 66).
Sevilla FC: Noelia Ramos, Maite, María Bores (Amparo, min 53), Cometti, Pancha Lara, Andrea, Isa Haas (Toni Payne, min 53), Nagore, Ana Franco (Ali, min 79), Karpova (Raquel Pinel min 67) & Olga.
Goals: 1-0 Martens (min 10), 2-0 Oshoala (min 39), 3-0 Oshoala (min 33), 3-1 Karpova (min 35), 3-2 María León OG (min 38), 4-2 Van der Gragt (min 41), 5-2 Aitana (min 61), 6-2 Candela (min 82).