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Barcelona 2-0 Eintracht Frankfurt: Women’s Champions League – as it happened | Women’s Champions League


Key events

And it’s goodnight from me. Well played Frankfurt, congratulations to Barcelona. Thanks for reading.

Barcelona, Benfica, Lyon, Brann and Chelsea are the five teams confirmed as through to the last eight. Group C (PSG, Ajax, Bayern, Roma) remains up for grabs. While in Group D, Chelsea are through, Real Madrid are out, with Paris FC and Hacken battling for second spot.

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Full time! Barcelona Women 2-0 Eintracht Frankfurt

And that will be that. Barcelona, the defending champions, make it five wins out of five in the group stage. Frankfurt battled impressively, but they are out.

90 min + 3: Barcelona are on the front foot, but the intensity has dropped off all round. Frankfurt can certainly be proud of the defensive shift they have put in tonight, not to mention the occasional problems they’ve caused in attack. (Barça’s previous six wins were 6-0, 9-1, 7-0, 2-0, 6-0 and 5-0.)

90 min: We will have six added minutes, minimum.

89 min: Pina and Brugts, full of running after coming off the bench, link up well in the penalty area. Brugts’ effort is blocked.

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88 min: Bronze goes close yet again! She’s been unlucky not to score.

86 min: For Frankfurt the Acikgöz twins – Dilara and Ilayda – are both on. Hanshaw and Freigang go off. The uefa.com site is wondering if that’s a first for the Women’s Champions League (twin sisters being introduced off the bench at the same time.)

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85 min: Barcelona changes aplenty. Brugts and Pina were already on, for Caldentey and Paralluelo respectively. Now Torrejon and Vilamala are on for Paredes and Hansen.

83 min: Nearly 3-0. Hansen breaks down the right yet again and crosses low. Bonmati is there, but can’t get on the end of it. Pina’s subsequent effort is saved by Bösl.

82 min: Hanshaw crosses from the Frankfurt left. Anyomi, who has been excellent, does well to win it with her head. The ball perhaps flicks off Engen’s arm, but nothing is forthcoming by way of a penalty.

79 min: Next Wednesday, Benfica host Barcelona while Frankfurt play Rosengård at home. But Group A will be done and dusted: Barça are group winners and Benfica qualify for the quarter-finals in second place.

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Hansen is fed by Bronze – they’ve linked well all night. The Norwegian isn’t under much pressure on this occasion from the tiring visiting defence, and has time to take a touch, and drill a powerful right-footed shot across goal that cannons in off the far post. No chance for Bösl. A top, top finish.

Barcelona are going to win this match, barring miracles for Frankfurt, and Frankfurt themselves will be going out tonight.

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Goal! Barcelona 2-0 Eintracht Frankfurt (Hansen 73)

There it is.

Celebrations after Caroline Graham Hansen double’s Barca’s lead. Photograph: Albert Gea/Reuters

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68 min: A concerted attack from Frankfurt ends with Prasnikar having a half-volleyed shot blocked at the far post! From the resulting corner, Freigang heads goalwards and it flicks off a Barcelona body or two, and fractionally wide. The next corner is overhit, and the pressure is alleviated for Barcelona.

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66 min: Batlle makes a run down the left for Barcelona. The defending from Frankfurt continues to be top class though. They seemed to lose their shape at the start of the second half, but the ship has now been steadied. If they win this it would be some smash-and-grab.

63 min: Paralluelo lofts a free-kick over from the Barcelona left. Bösl is on hand to gather it, though. The substitute goalkeeper has been excellent since coming on at half-time for Frankfurt.

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60 min: “Pretty passing triangles are so passé,” emails Peter Oh. “Barça have moved on to pretty passing Paralluelograms.”

That’s a good one.

57 min: Chance for Frankfurt! Anyomi dribbles into space with the home defence backtracking … she slides a good pass to Freigang on the left, who has space to cut inside, and bend a shot goalwards, looking for the far corner. It’s just wide.

Meanwhile Pawollek, the Frankfurt captain, has gone down injured after attempting a tackle in midfield. It looks a nasty one. The medical cart comes on, but she is able to hobble off, which is something. Shekiera Martinez comes on, an attacking change, albeit an enforced one.

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55 min: Given that Barcelona are confirmed group winners, you’d suspect Jonatan Giráldez will empty his bench before too long? Perhaps he’s hoping they can make the game safe first.

51 min: Space is opening up, as we thought it would. Hansen storms down the right for Barcelona and tries to slide a finish into the far corner … again Bösl is equal to it. Two excellent saves already after coming on at half time.

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49 min: Bonmati is played in by Hansen – it’s a smart angled ball into her feet – and is one-on-one with Bösl, who makes an excellent save when the Spaniard tries to tuck a low finish beyond her. Barcelona attack again immediately and Bronze’s header flicks off the far post with Bösl beaten all ends up!

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48 min: Feel free to drop me an electronic mail with your thoughts on the game.

Second half kick-off!

One change for Frankfurt: the goalie Johannes is off, with Cara Bösl coming on.

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Half time! Barcelona Women 1-0 Eintracht Frankfurt

Guijarro’s goal is the difference.

Elsewhere, Bournemouth are getting medieval on Swansea in the FA Cup. Scott Murray has the details:

And here is some more half-time reading:

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45 min: Two minutes added on, minimum.

43 min: Bronze and Hansen link down the right. Frankfurt’s Dunst puts in an excellent challenge on Hansen, and while she’s shielding the ball, is clearly fouled by her Norwegian opponent with a knee in the back. Bizarrely the referee, Deborah Anex, gives Frankfurt nothing. Dunst is clearly in pain but still she is OK to continue. Half-time beckons.

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42 min: It’s tricky to see how Frankfurt get a point from this, let alone the win that would maintain their interest in the competition. The dynamism of Barcelona, and the speed with which they move the ball, will surely wear them down as the match goes on.

Barca’s Salma Paralluelo makes a move in the Eintracht box. Photograph: Albert Gea/Reuters

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39 min: Bonmati breaks into space between the lines in a central area. She is tackled by Kleinherne, and goes down in a heap … concern for Barcelona as she stays down for a while, but eventually Bonmati walks gingerly away.

36 min: Barcelona continue to press, while Frankfurt continue to defend with spirit, not to mention plenty of positional discipline. The hosts have quality all over the pitch, so to be holding them to 1-0 at this stage is a decent effort. Guijarro is positioned on the edge of the box, and readies herself to shoot, but Anyomi shows determination to sprint back and nick the ball off her opponent’s toe.

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33 min: Frankfurt’s Anyomi, again, causes a problem for the hosts with a direct run. She loses control of the ball in the penalty area, though, and Barça are able to shepherd the ball out of their area.

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30 min: Another injury problem for Frankfurt. Or in fact the same one as before. Reuteler is unable to carry on following that earlier coming-together with Batlle, and the 20-year-old Lisanne Gräwe comes on in her place.

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27 min: Batlle tries an audacious chip, looking to lob the goalie into the far corner from the edge of the box. That would have been part-Cantona, part-Bergkamp … or indeed 100 per cent pure Ona Batlle. It went wide, though.

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25 min: Hansen is on the move again down the right wing. The Norway international scoops a well-crafted cross into Paralluelo, who controls with her back to goal in the six-yard box. The Barça forward holds it up for a good while, but eventually is crowded out, with Johannes managing to gather the ball while the forward looks to swivel and shoot.

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23 min: In the shape of this fluid, skilful, hard-working and creative Barcelona side, I fear Frankfurt have an Eintrachtable problem.

21 min: Straight after the goal, the industrious Hansen roared into the penalty area and went down under a strong Frankfurt challenge. But she did not get the penalty she wanted.

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Goal! Barcelona 1-0 Eintracht Frankfurt (Guijarro 19)

Frankfurt fail to clear their lines after that corner from which Bronze nearly scored. There are appeals for a free-kick when they lose it, trying to play out from the back on their right wing. But possession is surrendered in a dangerous area. Guijarro is suddenly in space on the edge of the box. She has time to look up and fire a crisp finish into the far corner. Frankfurt are up against it now.

Patri Guijarro gets a hug from Caroline Graham Hansen after she scores the opening goal. Photograph: Alejandro García/EPA

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18 min: Batlle is now on the front foot in attack. She forces a corner. The delivery from the set-piece is excellent, it’s flicked on by Guijarro and Bronze’s header nearly goes in! Guijarro has another go on the rebound but it’s saved.

15 min: Anyomi, a willing and pacy runner, is nearly on to a through ball into space, behind the Barcelona defence. Prasnikar has a long-range sight of an open goal after Coll came rushing out. She lofts an effort which is probably dropping in, but Paredes is on hand to take it down and pass it out calmly. Panic over.

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12 min: Reuteler goes down injured while looking to hit Barça on the break. I am not sure who made the challenge, was it Batlle? Anyway, Barcelona boot the ball out so Reuteler can receive treatment. She’s OK to carry on.

9 min: Barcelona’s Caldentey has a shot from around the penalty spot which deflects out for a corner off a defender. Nothing doing from the corner. It’s all Barça, though.

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7 min: Pretty passing pattens from Barça. Paralluelo is involved again. But the Frankfurt defence holds firm.

As tonight’s commentator just pointed out, it would have been nice for the Germans if Rosengård had managed a win against Benfica. Frankfurt have to better Benfica’s result tonight, so now only a win will do.

4 min: Hansen bends an imperious ball into the middle, curled around the defensive cover, looking for Paralluelo. There’s a hint of a foul by Doorsoun, the Frankfurt central defender, after Paralluelo controls Hansen’s handsome delivery, but the referee ain’t having it.

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3 min: Barcelona build ominously again. Hansen receives the ball in a bit of space just outside the area on the right, and opts to shoot early, looking for the far corner back across Johannes in goal. It’s a decent option but the shot is charged down.

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2 min: Remember, Frankfurt have to win to maintain any chance of going through. Barça start on the front foot, with Bonmati getting involved, but the visitors demonstrate their intentions with a quick counter.

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First half kick-off!

Let’s do this.

Meanwhile, some serious news from domestic women’s football:

A formal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Sheffield United player Maddy Cusack has been opened by the Football Association.

Cusack died aged 27 in September last year. A week after her death, her family are understood to have sent a written complaint to United outlining a range of issues she had been facing, which they said all stemmed from her treatment by the club’s manager, Jonathan Morgan.

Five minutes until kick-off. Now we just need the live feed to appear on DAZN’s YouTube, and we’re ready to go!

Full time! Rosengård 2-2 Benfica

The Swedish side have troubled the scorers in Group A! They are off the mark with their first point in five games thanks to Mai Kadowaki’s late equaliser. And that means, pleasingly, that the forthcoming Barcelona v Eintracht Frankfurt tie is not a dead rubber!

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Ella Braidwood

Ella Braidwood

For Sabah Mahmood, coach of east London side FC Leytonstone’s under-14 girls, Lauren James’ hat-trick during Chelsea’s 3-1 dismantling of Manchester United on Sunday wasn’t the only highlight. It was also seeing Fran Kirby come on as a second-half substitute, with the club’s all-time top scorer having recently spoken out about body image pressures in football. “Fran Kirby comes on and my girls just went crazy!” says Mahmood, who took her team to the match after taking up an invite from Brown Girl Sport, which advocates for south Asian girls in sport.

While you’re waiting for kick-off, why not read Suzanne Wrack on the consistently brilliant Aitana Bonmatí?

It’s all square in Malmö! Mai Kadowaki tucks away a smart finish for the hosts and it’s 2-2 now, which means Frankfurt would be back in with a mathematical chance.

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Will Frankfurt’s hopes be ended before they’ve even begun? Benfica continue to lead in Sweden …

Teams

Barça Women are unchanged from the team that hammered Levante 7-0 to win the Spanish Super Cup last Saturday.

Barcelona Women (4-3-3): Coll; Bronze, Paredes, Engen, Batlle; Bonmati, Walsh, Guijarro; Hansen, Caldentey, Paralluelo. Substitutes: Pina, Torrejon, Vilamala, Oshoala, Brugts, Gemma Font, Dragoni, Lopez, Martina Fernandez, Corrales.

Eintracht Frankfurt Women (4-3-3): Johannes; Wolter, Doorsoun, Kleinherne, Hanshaw; Reuteler, Pawollek, Dunst; Anyomi, Freigang, Prasnikar. Substitutes: Grawe, Martinez, Brengel, Kirchberger, Ilayda Acikgoz, Johann, Riesen, Aehling, Veit, Bösl, Dilara Acikgoz.

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Take a look at the table. If Benfica see out this 2-1 win in Malmö, Eintracht Frankfurt can pack their bags. They’re out.

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Benfica have just scored again in Sweden. They lead Rosengård 2-1, so Eintracht Frankfurt are in danger of going out before they kick off against Barça …

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Preamble

What are the permutations in Women’s Champions League Group A? Well here’s the thing: Barcelona are already through with four wins from four, while it looks as if Eintracht Frankfurt may be thrown a lifeline by Rosengård, who are currently drawing 1-1 with Benfica at fortress Malmö Idrottsplats.

Frankfurt simply need to better Benfica’s result this evening to stay in the hunt going into the final round of matches, so if Benfica don’t find a winner in Sweden, a draw or a victory against Barcelona would mean the Germans still have a chance.

Let’s do this. Kick-off: 8pm UK time.

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