Champions League

Real Madrid 1-3 Barcelona: Player ratings as controversial penalty swings UWCL tie

Jamie Spencer
Barcelona were flattered by the 3-1 score-line
Barcelona were flattered by the 3-1 score-line / JAVIER SORIANO/GettyImages

Barcelona came from behind to beat Real Madrid in the first leg of their Women’s Champions League quarter-final tie, with impressive substitute Claudia Pina eventually securing the narrow win on what was a difficult night for the newly re-crowned Spanish champions.

Olga Carmona had given Real a deserved lead in the early stages, but the game hinged on a controversially-awarded penalty scored by Alexia Putellas early in the second half. From there, Pina went on to put Barcelona ahead, before Putellas sealed a flattering 3-1 win.

Real started incredibly brightly, pressing the reigning European champions with relentless intensity. Unusually, Barça couldn’t handle the pace of the game and the likes of Putellas, Aitana Bonmati and Patri Guijarro were way short of their normal level.

Although underdogs, the early opener was completely with the run of the play. Pressure in midfield forced Putellas into a misplaced pass that allowed Esther Gonzalez to drive at the back four and play in the advancing Carmona to finish in acres of space.

Going behind didn’t jolt Barcelona into life. Instead, Real continued as they had started, frustrating their illustrious opponents and denying them the chance to play their own game. The hosts even had a chance to double their when Gonzalez cracked the outside of the post late in the first half.

Another Gonzalez chance before the interval, racing onto a long pass, was saved by Sandra Panos.

Real were made to pay for that soon after half-time when a coming together between Carmona and Caroline Graham Hansen resulted in a theatrical fall from the latter and a lengthy pause while it was subject to a VAR review. The referee pointed to the spot and Putellas converted emphatically.

Pina could even have given the visitors the lead but fired over from inside the penalty area. At the other end, Gonzalez also narrowly missed the target.

Following the equaliser, it was clear that the relentless intensity of their performance was taking its toll on a tiring Real side. Barcelona were still nothing like at their best, but the gaps started to open up. Pina fired home with a low drive as the ball fell to her in the penalty area, before Putellas then clipped the ball over Madrid goalkeeper Misa in the final moments.

Real Madrid player ratings

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Sofie Svava, Patri Guijarro
Sofie Svava played with plenty of drive / Angel Martinez/GettyImages

Misa (GK) - 6/10 - Made a couple of good stops but could do little about any of the three goals.

Lucia Rodriguez (RB) - 6/10 - Held her own on that side of the pitch.

Babett Peter (CB) - 7/10 - Made a few important interventions. Led with experience and by example.

Rocio Galvez (CB) - 6/10 - Withdrawn for fresh legs with 25 minutes remaining. Had done well to keep Barcelona under wraps.

Sofie Svava (LB) - 6/10 - Performed with a lot of energy up and down her flank and kept Hansen largely stifled. Sadly lost a 50/50 challenges seconds before Barcelona took the lead.

2. Midfielders

Maite Oroz, Alexia Putellas
Maite Oroz never let Barcelona settle / JAVIER SORIANO/GettyImages

Teresa Abelleira (CM) - 9/10 - Pressed and chased to completely limit what Barcelona were able to do in open play for most of the game.

Claudia Zornoza (CM) - 8/10 - Timely tackles and interventions ensured Real remained competitive until the closing stages.

Maite Oroz (AM) - 8/10 - So good in and out of possession and seemed to be everywhere. Perhaps faded as the intensity took its toll.

3. Forwards

Olga Carmona, Sofie Svava, Esther Gonzalez
Olga Carmona & Esther Gonzalez made life difficult for Barcelona / Angel Martinez/GettyImages

Athenea del Castillo (RW) - 7/10 - Her pace and direct running caused all kinds of problems for Barcelona.

Esther Gonzalez (ST) - 8/10 - Terrorised the Barcelona defence but was left to rue two missed chances in the first half - including one that hit the post.

Olga Carmona (LW) - 8/10 - Kept her cool to fire Real into an early lead amid surprising amounts of both space and time. Harshly penalised for the penalty and looked utterly dumbfounded by the decision to award it.

4. Substitutes

Ivana Andres (CB) - 5/10

Caroline Moller (RW) - 5/10

Nahikari Garcia (LW) - 5/10

Kenti Robles (RB) - 5/10

Barcelona player ratings

5. Goalkeeper & defenders

Sandra Panos made an important save at a key moment
Sandra Panos made an important save at a key moment / Eurasia Sport Images/GettyImages

Sandra Panos (GK) - 7/10 - Had to make an important save from Gonzalez to stop her team going 2-0 down.

Marta Torrejon (RB) - 4/10 - Given a rough time by Carmona, with her positioning particularly dubious for the early goal.

Andrea Pereira (CB) - 4/10 - Really struggled with the movement of Carmona and Gonzalez when Real were in the ascendancy.

Mapi Leon (CB) - 5/10 - Didn't seem to get exposed in the quite the same way as her fellow defenders in the first half. More comfortable afterwards.

Leila Ouahabi (LB) - 3/10 - Forced to take a yellow card for a cynical foul on Del Castillo to prevent a counter attack. Had a torrid first half and was withdrawn at the break.

6. Midfielders

Alexia Putellas
Alexia Putellas was poor by her standards but still scored twice / Angel Martinez/GettyImages

Aitana Bonmati (CM) - 5/10 - Frustration showed half an hour in when she cleaned out Carmona and was yellow carded. Improved as Real tired.

Patri Guijarro (CM) - 5/10 - Really struggled to gain a foothold and exert her usual level of control on the game.

Alexia Putellas (CM) - 6/10 - An unusually slack pass led to the breakthrough goal. Way off her game overall but scored from the penalty spot and capitalised when Real were tiring late on.

7. Forwards

Barcelona couldn't feed striker Jenni Hermoso
Barcelona couldn't feed striker Jenni Hermoso / JAVIER SORIANO/GettyImages

Caroline Graham Hansen (RW) - 5/10 - Way too quiet early on. Won a soft penalty after a VAR review soon after half-time with an over the top fall.

Jenni Hermoso (ST) - 5/10 - Lacked real service and a scuffed shot towards the end of the game summed up her night.

Fridolina Rolfo (LW) - 6/10 - Didn't do enough to make an impact in the first half. A reshuffle then pushed her into a deeper left-back role in the second and actually proved to be more effective.

8. Substitutes

Claudia Pina changed the game off the bench
Claudia Pina changed the game off the bench / JAVIER SORIANO/GettyImages

Claudia Pina (LW) - 8/10 - Made a noticeable difference after coming on at half-time. had the energy that her teammates had lacked without her and scored a well-taken winner.

Irene Paredes (CB) - 5/10

Ingrid Engen (CM) - N/A

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