Barcelona beat Chelsea to reach Champions League final
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Barcelona beat Chelsea to reach Champions League final

April 27, 2024

Barcelona beat Chelsea to reach Champions League final

Admin By Adewale Adewale
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Holders Barcelona booked their place in the Women’s Champions League final with a 2-0 win against Chelsea in the semi-final second leg on Saturday.

Trailing 1-0 from the first leg, Jonatan Giraldez’s side took the lead through Ballon d’Or winner Aitana Bonmati at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea’s Kadeisha Buchanan was sent off in the second half for a contentious second booking.

And Fridolina Rolfo wrapped up Barcelona’s 2-1 aggregate victory with a debatable penalty.

In the final in Bilbao on May 25, Barca will play Paris Saint-Germain or Lyon, who meet in the second leg of their semi-final on Sunday with Lyon holding a 3-2 lead.

It will be Barca’s fourth successive final berth as they look to lift the trophy for the third time.

Chelsea’s first-leg victory last week is the only defeat Barca have suffered this season, ending the club’s five-year unbeaten on home turf.

But Blues boss Emma Hayes, who leaves to take charge of the USA women’s national team at the of this season, said Chelsea would have to produce a perfect display to overcome “the best team in the world” again in the rematch.

Chelsea were unable to rise to the challenge and their wait for a first Champions League crown goes on.

They have now lost to Barca in successive Champions League semi-finals after being beaten by the Spanish club in the 2021 final.

In another sign of the hugely increased popularity of the women’s game in England, Stamford Bridge was sold out to its’ 39,398 capacity for the first time for a female fixture.

But the Chelsea fans were destined to go home disappointed, with Bonmati firing an early warning shot that Hannah Hampton dived to her right to save.

It was a threat that Chelsea failed to heed and Bonmati punished them to open the scoring in the 25th minute.

Conceding possession in sloppy fashion, Chelsea were unable to stop Bonmati, who cleverly side-stepped Niamh Charles on the edge of the area before unloading a fierce strike that deflected in off Buchanan.

Bonmati is now the joint all-time top scorer in the Women’s Champions League for Barcelona, tied with Alexia Putellas on 21 goals.

Hayes’ side should have levelled when Sjoeke Nusken seized on a wayward back-pass and picked out Lauren James but her tame finish let Barca off the hook.

Nusken was inches away from equalising early in the second half when she lunged for a shot that cannoned back off the post.

To her intense frustration, Buchanan received her marching orders in the 59th minute after a challenge on Patri Guijarro that appeared to take the ball but was deemed worthy of a second yellow card.

Barca delivered the knockout blow in the 75th minute when Bonmati was fouled in the area by Jess Carter and Ashley Lawrence.

Once again Chelsea complained vehemently but Rolfo stepped up to send Hampton the wrong way with a composed spot-kick as Barca wrapped up another final appearance.


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