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Barcelona banishes past disappointments with dramatic Women’s Champions League victory


By Issy Ronald, CNN

(CNN) — Barcelona Femení overcame a 2-0 deficit to defeat Wolfsburg 3-2 in a dramatic Women’s Champions League final and banish its disappointment from last year.

The only blemish on Barcelona’s all-conquering record these past few seasons was last year’s Champions League final, as it succumbed to a 3-1 defeat against Lyon, despite otherwise marauding through records and later becoming the first ever football team to win 50 consecutive league games.

Saturday’s final against Wolfsburg in Eindhoven, Netherlands was a chance for redemption, but 2-0 down at half time, it seemed that Barcelona would have to wait at least another year to secure a second Women’s Champions League trophy.

Wolfsburg took the lead after just three minutes when Ewa Pajor stole the ball from Barcelona defender Lucy Bronze and found the back of the net with a powerful strike for her ninth goal of this Champions League, the highest tally in this season’s tournament.

Barcelona had chances – Irene Paredes’ header floated inches wide of the goalpost and Caroline Graham Hansen couldn’t quite find the back of the net when she latched onto Leon’s cross – but it was Wolfsburg who struck next and doubled its lead.

Legendary forward Alexandra Popp timed her run to perfection as she headed in Pajor’s pass into the box for a record-equaling fourth goal in Women’s Champions League finals.

Paralluelo almost pulled one back for Barcelona just before halftime but for a brave, brilliant save Merle Frohms.

It was, however, a glimpse of Barcelona’s ruthless brilliance as it equalised with two goals from Patri Guijarro in quick succession just five minutes after half time to the delight of the Barcelona fans in the crowd.

“We made it hard for ourselves in the first half even though we created so many chances,” Bronze told Dazn afterwards.

“We knew we had enough quality to come back into any game. I don’t think we were ever worried about scoring three goals, which is a crazy feat to do, but that’s the talent within this team.”

The game continued at its frenetic pace but it was Barcelona who emerged victorious when Fridolina Rolfö scored the game-winning goal in the 70th minute after Wolfsburg’s defense made a series of errors when attempting to clear the ball.

Victory sealed Barcelona’s status as the dominant team in women’s European club soccer, as it claimed its second Champions League title in three years, joining an elite group of just six other teams who have won the trophy more than once.

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