Written by Oluwaseun Oyediji
European champions, FC Barcelona started their UEFA Women’s Champions League (UWCL) title defence with an emphatic 5-0 win against Portuguese league winners, SL Benfica on Tuesday.
A brace from captain, Alexia Putellas and Aitanama Bonmati coupled with another from substitute Asisat Oshoala lifted the Catalans side to a comfortable win in the 2023/2024 UWCL opener.
Putellas broke the deadlock in the 15th minute after heading her side into the lead from Caroline Hansen’s blocked effort. Hansen raced into the box and fired an attempt which was blocked towards Putellas path as the latter headed home the opener.
In the 39th minute, Putellas was at the end of Esmee Brugt’s header to poke home the doubler for Barca from a set piece.
Bonmati extended the lead to three in the 44th minute as she received a pass from Hansen and beat a Benfica player inside the box before converting.
A good run from the right wing by Hansen set up Bonmati who scored her second goal for the match in the 52nd minute.
Oshoala who replaced Mariona Caldentey in the 61st minute scored an acrobatic goal to make it 5-0 in the 62nd minute.
The win lifted Barcelona to the top of Group A with three points and a superior goal difference than Eintracht Frankfurt.
Frankfurt edged Rosengard FC 2-1 which moved the German side level Pawollek on points with Barcelona after the UWCL opening group game.
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Tanja Pawollek’s shot at the edge of the box from Nicole Anyomi’s pass beat Rosengard’s goalkeeper, Angel Mukasa in the 25th minute.
Rosenarg almost equalised when Hanna Andersson’s effort at the edge of the box hit the wood work.
The visitors finally extended their lead with six minutes before the end of the game with Barbara Dunst left footed strike.
Olivieer Schough reduced the deficit for Rosengard in the additional minutes of the second half but the goal was a mere consolation as Frankfurt hold on to the lead.
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