The FC Barcelona women’s team will be beaming on the flight back to Barcelona after taking a huge step towards a first ever UEFA Women’s Champions League semi-final appearance following a 1-0 win in the first leg at Rosengärd. Leila Ouahabi’s goal just before the break and some solid defending towards the end delivered a result that sets things up perfectly for the return on March 29 at the Miniestadi.
Coach Xavi Llorens got his tactics spot on, and for the first 45 minutes, the Swedes barely got a look in. Leila and Marta Torrejón did a wonderful job of generating constant pressure and although the chances were few and far between, the Catalan dominance was evident.
Jenni Hermoso had the first clear-cut opportunity saved by Musovic, while Andressa Alves and Vicky Losada produced some danger of their own too. But it was Leila who finally made good of the superiority as she pounced on a loose ball and slammed home from an angle.
Rosengärd needed to conjure up a response, but they’d have to do that without one of their best players, the injured Schelin. Barça suffered a similar setback when Andressa Alves was forced to leave the field after 66 minutes.
As the Swedes pushed forward, it was time for the Barça defence to start shining, with Sandra Paños immense in goal. The home side’s closest chance fell to Mertens, but the Barça stopper got her foot to the ball in time.
It all means that Barça will have a one-goal head start at the Miniestadi in seven days’ time. There’s still some work to be done, but so far things are looking very, very good indeed.