Athletic Club v FC Barcelona Women: Three points at a tough away ground (0-1)
The blaugranes start the league with a victory thanks to an own goal from Ainhoa even though they had chances to extend the scoreboard
Barça Women have started the league with a 1-0 victory over Athletic Club in a good game of football in which the blaugranes had lots of chances to score. In the end, an Ainhoa own-goal was enough to secure the three points. Fran Sánchez’s played the final half an hour with ten women following Melanie’s sending off, but the side continued to create chances.
The game started with both sides looking to score from plenty of chances. Erika Vázquez went close first for the home side but Melanie diverted the ball away from goal. Toni Duggan responded with a great effort that the Athletic Club keeper kept out. Natassa Andonova also tried her luck but shot over the bar after a good cutback.
The blaugrana goal came from a corner, as Ainhoa put the ball in her own net to make it 1-0. Barça were able to push on following the goal and they generated plenty of chances. Lieke Martens almost doubled the lead with a header before she went on a fantastic run and set up Mariona for a finish that kissed the post. The blaugranes were in control and the Basque side had few chances.
The second half saw little to choose between the two teams. The blaugranes looked for the second goal and Toni Duggan had a clear opening but the home side scrambled away her shot. Both sides had chances and the game was open until the end.
The blaugranes had to play for 30 minutes with ten men as Melanie picked up a second yellow. However, Fran Sánchez’s side remained in control and were able to maintain their one-goal lead to secure three points in the opening league fixture of the campaign. They are next in action on Wednesday against BIIK Kazygurt in Kazakhstan, in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16.