Header Ban

Bonmati shines as Barcelona ousts Chelsea in Women’s Champions League semis

LONDON (AP) — Aitana Bonmati scored and won the penalty for the second goal to help Barcelona beat 10-woman Chelsea 2-0 in the semifinal second leg of the Women’s Champions League and 2-1 on aggregate on Saturday.

Barcelona became the first team since Frankfurt and Potsdam in 2005 to advance after losing the semifinal first leg at home. Chelsea won 1-0 in Spain a week ago.

“We learned from our mistakes and we had to prepare better than the last week for this game,” Bonmati told broadcaster DAZN. “I can be skilful or I can have talent, but I think the best part of me is my mental toughness and my ambition.”

Defending champion Barcelona has reached the final for the fifth time in the last six seasons, missing out only in 2020.

The Spanish club will face a French club in the final on May 25. Paris Saint-Germain hosts Lyon in the second leg of the other semifinal on Sunday. Lyon won the first leg 3-2.

Chelsea was let down by its finishing and poor discipline.

In the rain, Stamford Bridge was sold out for the first time for a women’s game. In front of a noisy crowd of 39,398 spectators, Chelsea looked to shut out Barcelona with a compact shape and an aggressive press like in the first leg.

Barcelona initially struggled but grew into the game as winger Caroline Graham Hansen tested Chelsea goalkeeper Hannah Hampton with a low shot in the 22nd minute.

Bonmati, the world’s best player, leveled the tie in the 25th by rounding Niamh Charles to fire in a low strike that took a deflection off Kadeisha Buchanan.

Striker Catarina Macario led Chelsea’s response with a dipping half-volley that goalkeeper Catalina Coll palmed away in the 36th.

The hosts had a golden chance to equalize before halftime. Chelsea midfielder Sjoeke Nusken intercepted an underhit back pass from Irene Paredes and squared the ball back for Lauren James, who couldn’t make contact.

Chelsea was wasteful again in the 57th when James picked out Nusken, whose sliding effort hit the post.

Things became worse for Chelsea when Buchanan received a second yellow card in the 59th for stamping on Patri Guijarro’s foot. The defender was also booked in the 54th for a poor tackle on Salma Paralluelo.

“Even Barcelona players said to us they knew the referee was helpful for them. I didn’t think it was a foul, let alone a yellow card,” Chelsea coach Emma Hayes said, complaining about referee Iuliana Demetrescu. “I was surprised when I saw her selected. She’s famous for easy cards, and I think that is probably the worst decision in UEFA Women’s Champions League history. (…) We were robbed.”

Ashley Lawrence tripped Bonmati and Barcelona winger Fridolina Rolfo converted the penalty in the 75th to send Barcelona to the final.


AP soccer: https://ift.tt/8T1snod

Adblock test (Why?)

No comments

Powered by Blogger.