UEFA Women's Champions League: Barca stuns Wolfsburg with comeback

Patri Guijarro struck twice as Barcelona produced a stunning comeback to beat Wolfsburg 3-2 and clinch a second Women's Champions League trophy on Saturday.

The Catalans were two goals down at the break but hit back strongly to triumph in Eindhoven, with Fridolina Rolfostroking home the winner with 20 minutes remaining.

Jonatan Giraldez's side has now won two of the last three finals after earning its first triumph over Chelsea in 2021, continuing to establish itself as the main rival to record eight-time winner Lyon.

Barcelona secured victory with two-time Ballon d'Or winner Alexia Putellas on the bench until the final stages, as she continues to find form after the knee injury that sidelined her for most of the season.

"I'm so emotional, I never thought this would happen, at two zero (down) at the beginning I felt we could do it, but it was so hard," match-winner Rolfo told DAZN. "We showed so much mentality today, I'm so proud of the team."

Wolfsburg took the lead after just three minutes, when Ewa Pajor picked Lucy Bronze's pocket on the edge of the box and rammed past keeper Sandra Panos.

The England international last played in April, having surgery on her knee after the semifinal first-leg win over Chelsea, and that rust showed.

Panos might have done better too, getting a hand on top scorer Pajor's effort but not doing enough to thwart her ninth strike of the tournament.

Barcelona defender Irene Paredes should have equaliszd but sent a free header wide at the far post from Mapi Leon's sweetly-delivered corner.

Caroline Graham Hansen, who scored in both legs of the semifinal win over Chelsea, also spurned a fine chance from point-blank range, failing to make solid contact on a cross.

Soon Barcelona paid the price for its profligacy, with Wolfsburg netting the second on the counter-attack.

Veteran forward Alexandra Popp outmuscled Leon off the ball before darting into the box to head home from Pajor's cross.

The Germans deserved their advantage, with Barcelona lacking sharpness and not matching its opponents' energy levels.

Turnaround. Putellas described last season's final defeat by Lyon as traumatic and Barcelona came out all guns blazing after the break to ensure there was no repeat.

"I had a big flashback to the last final," admitted Graham Hansen, with Barcelona going 3-0 down to the French side in 33 minutes. 

Guijarro netted twice in the space of 109 seconds early in the second half to pull the game level.

First she finished well from Graham Hansen's cut-back, with the Norwegian winger blazing into the box and teeing up her teammate. Then Guijarro headed home after Aitana Bonmati skinned Pajor and whipped in a cross from the right.

"Alexia gave me her energy and I did a bit of what she does," Guijarro told DAZN. "It's incredible (to win), above all in the way we did it, coming from two down in a final is so difficult."

Barcelona supporters, who took over the city center in the afternoon before the game, whipped themselves up into a frenzy at the PSV Stadium, with over 33,000 fans attending.

Wolfsburg was rocking and Barcelona's third felt almost inevitable, arriving after defender Lynn Wilms blasted the ball at teammate Kathrin Hendrich in her own six-yard box. Barcelona forward Mariona Caldentey miskicked the loose ball with a clean sight of goal but managed to nudge it on to Rolfo, who made no mistake with her finish.

"We scored one, we scored two, we scored three, the whole stadium explodes, of course it's going to help us to keep going, and pushing, pushing, pushing," said Graham Hansen.

Tommy Stroot's team could not find a way back into the game, broken by Barcelona's comeback.

Wolfsburg has now lost in four finals since it last won the trophy in 2014, as its wait for glory continues, while Barcelona reaches new heights.

"In terms of possession, Barcelona probably deserved to win the match, but when you're so close and the match is taken out of your hands, it hurts incredibly," said Wolfsburg captain Popp.


© Agence France-Presse

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