Barcelona crowned champions of Europe after defeating Wolfsburg in UWCL final: Talking points from Barcelona Femeni 3-2 VFL Wolfsburg

Barcelona-vs-Wolfsburg_ Match-Analysis

On June 3, 2023, Barcelona won their second European title in their history after defeating Wolfsburg 3-2 in Eindhoven. The newly crowned European champions had to pull off nothing short of a miracle in the second half to win the title. After conceding an early goal and another late in the first half, Barcelona went into the tunnel at halftime trailing by two goals.

However, the restart of the game saw Barcelona come back to life and score two goals in two minutes. A feat that undeniably got them back into the game, and served as the momentum the team needed to go the extra mile and clinch the title from their German counterparts.

We took a comprehensive look at the game, and here are the things we learned:

1. A champion’s mentality

Going behind by two goals in a game the magnitude of the UWCL final is more than enough to dampen the high spirits of players and fans alike. Little wonder, the cameras picked up the face of Barcelona captain, Alexia Putellas shortly after the Blaugrana conceded the second goal in the first half. As expected, the two time Ballon d’Or winner looked disappointed and on the verge of tears. Saying she was recalling the previous edition’s final in Turin where Barcelona were defeated 3-1 by Lyon in the final would not be too far-fetched.

However, the champions refused to let the circumstance in which they have found themselves dictate their fate. They took the event in Turin as a lesson and pulled themselves out of the abyss, turning loss into victory. They approached the second half with a ‘never say never’ attitude and they got rewarded for not giving up. Barcelona ended up scoring three goals in the second half, canceling out the two goals they conceded in the first half, and even getting the winner in the process.

Performing such a feat requires a strong mental fortitude from the players; both as a team and on an individual level. A mentality strong enough to recover from the memories of the previous year’s loss and avoid a repeat of the situation even when all hope feels lost.

2. Patri found her scoring boots in the right game

Barcelona’s hero of the night, Patri Guijarro, who ended up receiving the award for the match MVP, scored two goals in two minutes to bring her team level in the early minutes of the second half. Making deep runs and arriving late into the box on both occasions, the midfielder found herself in space with enough time to pick a spot and put the ball into the back of the net.

In Barcelona’s last game in the Spanish league, Liga F, the champions lost 2-1 to Madrid CFF. A game similar to the one they played against Wolfsburg, the Catalans found themselves two goals behind by the end of the first half. However, it took them quite a while to get back into the game courtesy of a goal from Alexia Putellas.

In similar fashion to the game against Wolfsburg, a few chances fell to Patri Guijarro, but the midfielder was unable to convert any of those chances and Barcelona ended up with their first loss in the league, after an unbeaten streak that lasted for almost 2 years.

Against Wolfsburg, the midfielder did what she failed to do against Madrid CFF, she got into the right positions and with impeccable composure, finished beautifully on two occasions, getting her team back into the game.

3. Giraldez’s squad rotation paid off

Over the course of the season, Barcelona head coach Jonatan Giraldez, has been rotating his squad as often as possible. Thus, keeping his players rested and fresh for key moments in the season. It’s no news that Barcelona’s season has been plagued with injuries, with the likes of Bruna Vilamala, Jana Fernandez, Cata Coll, Alexia Putellas all returning from long term injuries this season. During the course of the season, players like Caroline Graham Hansen, Mariona Caldentey, Claudia Pina, and Asisat Oshoala all got injured for several weeks causing a significant impact on the team’s squad depth. Late in the season, Lucy Bronze, and Fridolina Rolfo picked up injuries that almost kept them out of the UWCL against Wolfsburg.

The rotation in the squad became very noticeable after Barcelona won the Spanish league title with games to spare. Barcelona introduced some players from their youth team, and gave more playing time to players who have played lesser games during the course of the season.

Against Wolfsburg, this move seemed to have paid off as the team looked rejuvenated in the second half. Barcelona showed no fatigue and looked revitalized, which eventually saw them get two goals in two minutes, before getting a third goal to secure the title.


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