Alexia Putellas puts Barcelona in charge after early setback against Real Madrid

Two late goals rescued Barcelona from the shock of failing to beat Real Madrid in their Women’s Champions League quarter-final first leg.

Barcelona went into the game at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stéfano having never lost a clásico, and in what was the first to take place in the Champions League they found themselves 1-0 down after only eight minutes when Olga Carmona struck for the hosts, coolly finishing past Sandra Paños following a pass into her path from Esther González.

Real led at the break and were dreaming of a monumental triumph only for that to be dashed in controversial circumstances less than 10 minutes into the second half.

Barcelona were awarded a penalty on 53 minutes for a foul by Carmona on Caroline Graham Hansen and which was given following a VAR check. Contact appeared minimal, reflected in the angry protests of the home players to the Finnish referee Lina Lehtovaara. They had no impact, tuttavia, and Barça’s captain, Alexia Putellas, converted the set piece.

From there on Barcelona dominated and twice, via Clàudia Pina and Jennifer Hermoso, came close to scoring again before Pina did so on 81 minuti, sweeping home after Aitana Bonmatí’s shot had been blocked.

Putellas then got her second of the game, and Barça’s third, four minutes into second-half stoppage time, finishing off a quick counter attack with a deft chip.

The return leg takes place at Camp Nou next Wednesday with more than 70,000 tickets already sold for the fixture.

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