Sonia scored one of Barça's three against Slavia de Praga. PHOTO: VÍCTOR SALGADO-FCB.

As Xavi Llorens had suspected before the match, the Czech side came to defend tightly seek to catch Barça out on the counter attack. But this just gifted the possession to the Catalans, who pounced on every mistake they spotted in the Slavia defence. With a 1-0 lead from the first leg in Prague, Barça never really looked under any real threat.

After 19 minutes, Alexia made the most of a mix-up in the Czech back four to collect the ball and round goalkeeper Votikova and slip the ball into the back of the net. FCB were in absolute control, and just seven minutes later Sonia Bermúdez collected a through ball and left her marker standing before also dancing round the Czech keeper to slip home Barça’s second of the day.

The Czech’s were going to have to change their tactics. And they did. Rather than waiting at the back, they went hell for leather in search a heroic comeback. The chances started flowing for thr visitors, but the goals, with Penickova coming the closest just before half time had Laura Ràfols not produced a fine save.

The second half saw further pressure from Slavia, who now needed three goals to qualify. They weren’t short of chances, but Ràfols was in inspired form in the Barça goal.

Xavi Llorens opted to send on Willy Romero, and his decision paid off, with his substitute scoring less than minute after entering the fray. She latched onto the end of a fine pass from fellow sub Jennifer (making her Champions League debut), and showed every bit of class with a fine chip over the Slavia keeper.

That put an end to any realistic chance of Slavia winning the tie, yet they still pressed hard in search of the miracle. But despite intense pressure from the visitors, it was Barça’s Marta Corredera who came closest to adding to the scoreline, but her late effort hit the crossbar.

All in all, it was a solid performance from the Barça ladies, who will go on to meet the winners of the game between Bristol Academy (England) and Raheny United (Ireland). The former are very much the more likely possibility after they won the away leg 4-0.



FC Barcelona:
Ràfols, Ruth, M. Unzué, Melanie, M. Corredera, V. Losada, Sonia (Jennifer Hermoso, min 56), Alexia (Mariona, min 72), Gemma (Willy Romero, min 56), Marta & Virginia.

Slavia Praga: Votikova, Tomaskova (Sara Juracková, min 83), Budosová, Pincová, Benyrová, Malinová (Jitka Chlastáková, min 54), Bartovicová, Penicková, Svitková(Necidová, min 68), Kozárová, Divisová.

Referee: Sara Persson.

Goals: 1-0 Alexia (min 14), 2-0 Sonia (minut 26), 3-0 Willy (minut 58).

Attendance: 994

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