Budapest, Gothenburg, Turin and now Eindhoven. Barça women have reached their fourth final of the Women's Champions League in five years. The blaugrana have made the final after drawing against Chelsea in the second leg of the semi-final at Camp Nou (1-1). Caroline Graham Hansen was the scorer, while Alexia Putellas, on the bench, is still to play again after nearly ten months out.
The match began with Chelsea applying pressure and attacking, but the Catalan team quickly found their footing and began to take control of possession. Barça's high pressure and well-timed moves led to their first few chances. Asisat Oshoala and Mariona Caldentey, both new to the starting lineup in the Champions League, made early warnings from the left wing.
When Caroline Graham Hansen, scorer in the 1-0 first leg victory, became more involved, the match shifted in Barça's favour. In the 8th minute, she put the ball in the net, but it was disallowed for handball. Chelsea's efforts to regain control in the first half were futile, and they generally failed to make progress beyond their own half. Sam Kerr, Chelsea's star player, was virtually invisible throughout the match.
The second half followed a similar pattern, with Chelsea attacking early on, but Barça's defence stood firm. Chances continued to come for Barça, with Rolfö and Graham Hansen creating opportunities to take the lead. Ingrid Engen and Salma Paralluelo were brought in to help find the much-needed goal.
Finally, in the 63rd minute, the persistent Graham Hansen completed a perfect counterattack for Barça, sending the ball into the back of the net and sparking celebrations among the 72,262 spectators at Camp Nou. However, Guro Reiten equalized for Chelsea in the 67th minute, cutting the celebrations short. Both teams then made offensive substitutions, with Crnogorcevic and Geyse Ferreira entering the fray for Barça, and Chelsea making similar moves.
Ultimately, the draw was enough to send the Barça women to their fourth Champions League final, where they will face the victor of the Arsenal-Wolfsburg tie to be decided on Monday, May 1st, with all in the balance after a 2-2 draw in the first leg. On June 3rd in Eindhoven, the blaugrana will be hoping to repeat the victory they scored in that 2021 final in Gothenburg: 4-0, also against Chelsea.