EINDHOVEN: A remarkable comeback earned Barcelona won a second Women’s Champions League title with a 3-2 win over Wolfsburg in Eindhoven.
The Spanish champions trailed 2-0 at half-time before two goal from Patri Guijarro in two minutes pulled them level.
Spurred on by their instant response in the second half, Barcelona piled on the pressure and were eventually rewarded by Fridolina Rolfo’s winner, with 20 minutes left.
Barcelona, who lost the crown to Lyon in last year’s final, had been immediately troubled to a Wolfsburg side seeking a third European trophy in 10 years.
Wolfsburg had the perfect start through when competition top scorer Ewa Pajor who robbed England defender Lucy Bronze, returning after knee surgery in April. Germany star striker Alexandra Popp was then set-up by Pajor for a second.
Barcelona had lacked fluency and patience in the first half but it was no surprise they bounced back, displaying the quality of football that helped them reach a fourth final in five seasons.
Among Barcelona’s winners was England midfielder Keira Walsh, who picked up her first European title, while Bronze became the first English woman to win the trophy with two different clubs after winning it on three consecutive occasions with former club Lyon between 2018 and 2020.
Barcelona’s quality eventually paid as Caroline Graham Hansen and Aitana Bonmati set up Guijarro twice in as many minutes to pave the way for Rolfo’s winning effort.
But it was an unforgettable evening for the former Manchester City player, winning her first European title in her debut season for Barcelona after leaving childhood club last summer for a world-record transfer fee.
It caps off a stunning year for English duo Bronze and Walsh, who played a key role in the Lionesses’ success at Euro 2022 and add this trophy to the Spanish league title they secured a few weeks ago.
Bronze told Dazn afterwards: “We made it hard for ourselves in the first half even though we created so many chances. We knew we had quality to come back. It’s the talent of this team.
“It was definitely difficult at the end having not played for five weeks, but I’m so happy to have played my part for the team.”
Popp equals record but can’t secure win
It was a pitch packed full of world-class talent, one of those being Germany striker Popp. She did not fail to deliver.
The 32-year-old was chasing a fourth title to add the trophy she won with Duisburg in 2009 and the two she had already won with Wolfsburg.
She scored the opening goal the last time Wolfsburg won the Champions League in 2014 and she was deadly in the box this time around when she headed in Pajor’s teasing cross to make it 2-0.
That goal meant she equalled former Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg’s competition record of scoring in four separate finals.