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Chelsea frustrated Graham Hansen’s Barcelona – got off to a dream start in the giant duel in the Champions League

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Caroline Graham Hansen and Barcelona struggled against Chelsea. Photo: Jose Breton / AP / NTB

Of NTB | 20.04.2024 15:30:27

Sport: Saturday’s game in Barcelona was a frustrating affair for Barcelona players accustomed to victory. The Catalan club had not lost at home since autumn 2022, when Bayern Munich became too strong.

On Saturday, Erin Cuthbert’s goal before the break separated the teams. Thus, Chelsea, with Guro Reiten on the bench for large parts of the match on Saturday, have acquired a dream starting point ahead of the return leg in London. Reiten entered overtime and helped the team in the final minutes.

Chelsea and Barcelona also met in the semi-finals of last season’s Champions League tournament. Then Graham Hansen and her teammates came out victorious with a narrow 2-1 aggregate.

Everything indicates that the duel will also be a thriller this time.

Chances were also poor at the opposite end of the field, but there the efficiency was in place when the chance presented itself. Five minutes before the break, Cuthbert showed technique and vision when she found space on the outside of Barcelona’s 16 meters and sent the visitors into the lead with a well-placed shot.

The preparatory work for the German Sjoeke Nüsken was also solid.

Early in the second half, a penalty was awarded to the home team when a shot hit the hand of Chelsea centre-back Kadeisha Buchanan. There was little doubt that the hand was in an unnatural position, but the VAR check revealed that Barcelona striker Salma Paralluelo was offside in the duel with Buchanan.

Thus, the penalty kick was reversed after referee Stéphanie Frappart had been on the sidelines and studied the pictures.

The same Ramírez, who was brought to Chelsea from Spanish Levante in January, was extremely close to making it 2-0 in the quarter before the end. The shot went over.

On the eve of the match, Barcelona forward Paralluelo had a great chance after great preparation by Graham Hansen, but the finish went wide.

Ingrid Syrstad Engen, like Graham Hansen, started Saturday’s match for Barcelona, ​​but after just over an hour without a goal, the trønder was replaced in favor of former Gullballen winner Alexia Putellas.

That move did not change the outcome of the match.

Barcelona did not unexpectedly dominate the game on their own turf from the start, but Graham Hansen and his teammates struggled to create the big chances.

Soon after, Chelsea player Mayra Ramírez went to the ground in front of the goal in a duel with Barcelona stopper Irene Paredes. On that occasion, referee Frappart waved play on, and the VAR referees did not intervene.

(© NTB)

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