Barcelona and Chelsea battled to a 1-1 draw in the second leg of the Women’s Champions League semi-final on Thursday, with Caroline Graham Hansen’s goal for Barcelona securing their spot in the final for the third consecutive year. This tie was ultimately decided by Barcelona’s 1-0 win in the first leg.
The opening half featured numerous chances for Barcelona, but they had to wait until the 63rd minute to extend their overall lead. Chelsea’s Guro Reiten struck back promptly, demonstrating that the reigning champions would not be intimidated.
Aitana Bonmati, who was named Player of the Match and provided the assist for Graham Hansen’s goal, spoke about the team’s unwavering commitment to reaching this level, stating, “We’ve worked tirelessly for years to get here.” She also stressed the need to stay focused under pressure.
An early goal by Graham Hansen was ruled out due to a handball offense. Nevertheless, Barcelona’s persistant search for a goal in the second half paid off when Graham Hansen found the net from a difficult angle. Chelsea responded quickly, with Reiten netting a counter-attack goal just four minutes later.
Chelsea fought hard to score a game-winning goal that would have forced extra time, but they were unable to change the final outcome. Emma Hayes, Chelsea’s coach, expressed her pride in her team’s display but recognized that the first-leg result ultimately determined the series. Hayes commended her team’s courage, adherence to their game plan, and the maturity and experience they exhibited on the field.