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Barcelona 5-1 Wolfsburg: Holders open up first-leg lead

The holders scored four times before the break to take control of this semi-final tie.

See how Barcelona got one foot in the final with a comprehensive semi-final, first leg victory in front of a record crowd at Camp Nou.
Women's Champions League highlights: Barcelona 5-1 Wolfsburg

Barcelona struck four times in the first half as the holders took a giant step towards another final by beating Wolfsburg 5-1 in their UEFA Women's Champions League semi-final first leg.

Match in brief: Barcelona surge ahead

Aitana Bonmatí celebrates her opening goal
Aitana Bonmatí celebrates her opening goalUEFA via Getty Images

Wolfsburg had won all seven previous meetings with Spanish clubs, conceding only two goals in the process, but both of those impressive records were truly consigned to history during a devastating first half from Jonatan Giráldez's charges.

Aitana Bonmatí was quick to break the deadlock, finishing calmly after Wolfsburg were caught out by a rapidly taken, raking free-kick from Fridolina Rolfö, and there were still less than ten minutes on the clock when Caroline Graham Hansen scored against her former club having driven into the area and wrong-footed Joelle Wedemeyer.

The visitors had a chance to hit back quickly through Svenja Huth, only for Irene Paredes to block a goalbound effort with Sandra Paños beaten. Barcelona took full advantage by slicing through two more times before the break, Jenn Hermoso adding the third from Marta Torrejón's cutback and Alexia Putellas making it 4-0 from Patri Guijarro's pass through the centre of the visitors' defence.

Tommy Stroot's side grabbed a potential lifeline in the tie when Tabea Wassmuth slid in Jill Roord to pull one back in the 70th minute, but Alexia's late penalty restored the four-goal cushion ahead of the return on 30 April.

Match as it happened: Barcelona vs Wolfsburg


Visa Player of the Match: Alexia Putellas (Barcelona)

"The main influence on Barca's good play. Good passing, went beyond the last line of defence and showed real leadership, also providing two goals. Lots of movement and involved in the attacking game."
UEFA Technical Observer panel

Joe Walker, Barcelona reporter

This team just leaves you lost for words. Just when you think they can't get any better, they put in such a dominant display against a strong Wolfsburg side they had never beaten before. The reigning champions will take some stopping.

James Thorogood, Wolfsburg reporter

It wasn't as competitive as they'd hoped, but Wolfsburg have nothing to be ashamed of given where they've come from this season. Tonight they were part of an historic evening at the Camp Nou, which is an achievement in itself for a side still several steps behind Barcelona on the development curve. The She-Wolves now have first-hand experience of where the bar is set and will no doubt strive to close the gap in the second leg and next season.

Reaction

Jonatan Giráldez, Barcelona coach: "They're definitely the best 45 minutes I've experienced, both in terms of our level of play and the game it was. The players were 10/10. We only gave them one chance and created tons ourselves, scoring four times in one of the best first halves we have played."

Patricia Guijarro, Barcelona midfielder: "It's special, we are lost for words. We will remember this as we grow old. It's so special to experience a day like this. We need to remember for the return leg that they scored against us. They've got a lot of goalscorers in their team and can make life complicated for us."

Tabea Wassmuth, Wolfsburg forward: "None of us were happy with the first-half performance. We didn't get stuck into the challenges, we were just chasing them, and when you let Barcelona play their tiki-taka game then it's incredibly hard to stop them. In the second half, you have to say that we gave our all, threw everything into the game and got our goal."

Alexia Putellas is congratulated after making it 4-0
Alexia Putellas is congratulated after making it 4-0AFP via Getty Images

Key stats

  • This was Barcelona's 45th consecutive win in all competitions.
  • Wolfsburg were unbeaten in 17 competitive games before this outing and had won all three previous meetings with the Spanish side.
  • Alexia is the first player this season to reach ten goals in the competition.

Line-ups

Barcelona: Paños; Torrejón, Paredes, León, Rolfö; Bonmatí (Caldentey 81), Guijarro, Alexia (Syrstad Engen 90); Graham Hansen (Ouahabi 90), Hermoso (Oshoala 73), Crnogorčević (Pina 73)

Wolfsburg: Schult; Wedemeyer, Hendrich, Janssen, Rauch; Lattwein, Roord (Blomqvist 76, Starke 90+2); Jónsdóttir (Knaak 90+2), Huth, Popp (Pajor 61); Wassmuth

What's next?

Wolfsburg and Barcelona meet for their semi-final second leg on 30 April. The winners will face Paris or Lyon in the final at Juventus Stadium in Turin on 21 May.