Patricia Guijarro was the heroine on Saturday as FC Barcelona came from two goals down in front of 33,147 spectators at the PSV Stadium to clinch their second UEFA Women’s Champions League title with a 3-2 win over German side Wolfsburg, who were gunning for their first in almost a decade and third overall.
Thanks to Ewa Pajor and Alex Popp, Wolfsburg went into the break with a 2-0 lead, but Barcelona pulled a brilliant comeback in the second half, courtesy of a brace from Guijarro and a winner from former Wolfburg star Fridolina Rolfo to make sure they were the ones drenched in shiny gold and silver confetti rain in the end.
EARLY GOAL FOR UNDERDOGS Favourites Barcelona seized the momentum from the moment Mariona Caldentey took the kickoff – Aitana Bonmati’s shot was blocked and Guinarro’s saved within the first two minutes – but would be stunned two minutes later when Ewa Pajor dispossessed Lucy Bronze at the back before unleashing a shot that evades Panos’ outstretched hand and curved into the top left corner. Another goal for the leading scorer of the competition this season. A traumatic start to the match for Barcelona who were also shocked early by Olympique Lyon at last year’s final in Turin.
Barcelona remained calm and collected though as they pushed for an equaliser, stringing passes and building their attack patiently but failing to give the final punch.
Instead, it was Wolfsburg that dealt another ruthless blow in the 27th minute. Pajor turning provider as she delivered a brilliant cross from the right flank into the box for Popp, playing in her fourth UWCL final, to head home.
For Barcelona it was frustrating to see some chances go begging, like Paredes header off María Leon’s corner going wide after bouncing off the ground and hitting the post and Salma Paralluelo forcing a save from Merle Frohms after Bronze had delivered a great ball into the box. In summary, Barcelona played while Wolfsburg scored. Despite losing the first half, the Blaugrana dominated with 60 percent possession and 15 shots to Wolfsburg’s three.
Three minutes into the second half, Patricia Guijarro gave Barcelona fans something to roar and sing about. Barcelona’s attacking flair began to pay off. With Felicitas Rauch unable to clear, Guijarro tapped in from close range.
Then she completed her brace two minutes later with a header. Aitana Bonmatí gave the assist for the goal. This quick comeback drew loud chants from the more than 8,000 Barcelona fans in the stands as they urged their team to go for the kill. Prior to this match, Alexia Putellas did say they “owe the fans” a win.
The Spanish champions continued to mount pressure on Wolfsburg and following a barrage of shots in a chaotic moment in Wolfsburg’s penalty area, Fridolina Rolfo, a runner-up with Wolfsburg in 2020 and with Barcelona last season, succeeded in sneaking in Barcelona’s third goal in the 70th minute. It turned out to be the winner. Lynn Wilms’ attempt to clear the ball hit her teammate Kathrin Hendrich andthe ball eventually fell nicely for Rolfö who made no mistake. The goal that has changed her story. Rolfo is now a Champions League winner.
Substitutions were made on both sides as the game wore on, with Alexia Putellas getting a standing ovation from Barcelona fans as she replaced Bonmati in the 89th minute.
Seven intense added minutes, with tackles flying, went by and Barcelona held on for the very important win.
Credit: AIPS Media