Barcelona open Champions League campaign with 5-0 victory over Benfica

Barcelona Femeni celebrate scoring againsy Benfica
PHOTO: X – @BarcaFem / Barcelona Femeni 5 – 0 Benfica

Football action resumed in the UEFA Women’s Champions League tonight, and Barcelona showed why they are the current title holders after defeating Benfica 5-0 in their first group stage game.

The defending champions dominated proceedings at the Estadi Johan Cruyff and put five goals past their Portuguese counterparts. A brace of goals from Aitana Bonmati and Alexia Putellas, as well as a spectacular overhead kick from Asisat Oshoala, gave Barcelona all three points in their opening game.

Benfica started the game stronger than they did last season and were the better side for the first ten minutes of the match. However, the European champions took the game by the scruff of its neck when Alexia Putellas opened the scoring in the 15th minute.

The two-time Ballon d’Or winner put Barcelona ahead with a well-placed header after Caroline Graham Hansen’s shot was blocked in the box.

From the moment Barcelona scored, the game tilted in their favor, and they took total control of the game. The Spanish side kept pushing for a second goal, and they found the back of the net again in the 40th minute. Alexia was on hand to guide the ball into the goalpost following an Esmee Brugts header. 

The Dutch player headed the ball towards goal after meeting Mapi Leon’s cross at the far post. Alexia Putellas had the last touch on the ball, guiding it into the back of the net right on the goal line.

Barcelona left nothing to chance and killed all hopes of a comeback by the Portuguese side when they went 3-0 up on the stroke of halftime. A clean break through the middle of the pitch saw Aitana Bonmati lead a counterattack, with Caroline Graham Hansen left completely unmarked on the right wing. The Ballon d’Or winner released Graham Hansen in the box, and the Norwegian forward unselfishly passed the ball back to Aitana who finished with exquisite calm and composure. 

Patri Guijarro replaced Alexia Putellas at the start of the second half, as the captain was substituted after experiencing some discomfort in her knee towards the latter stages of the first half.

The defending champions picked up where they left off and scored again in the 52nd minute after Caroline Graham Hansen dispossessed a Benfica player and danced into the box before brilliantly teeing up Aitana Bonmati for her second goal of the night.  The Spanish midfielder placed the ball into the bottom left corner with a first-time hit from the Norwegian’s pass.

Barcelona rounded up their night with the best goal of the game in the 61st minute. Asisat Oshoala, who came on for Mariona Caldentey, scored a brilliant overhead kick just 40 seconds after coming on. The Nigerian forward converted Caroline Graham Hansen’s cross in acrobatic style with her first touch of the game.

Asisat Oshoala score overhead kick against Benfica
PHOTO: X – @BarcaFem / Asisat Oshoala overhead kick against Benfica in the UWCL

Barcelona ended the match 5-0 winners on opening night in the Champions League. Following a win in their first group stage game, Barcelona’s next game in the competition will be played away at Frankfurt on November 22.


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