Barcelona avoided an upset against Wolfsburg in the final of the UEFA Women’s Champions League. The Spanish giants produced a stunning comeback in front of a record-breaking crowd to be crowned European champions.Wolfsburg's nine-year wait for a Champions League title continues as they failed to upset the odds against Spanish giants Barcelona, who crowned themselves European champions for the second time in front of a record-breaking crowd in Eindhoven with a 3:2 win.

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On another landmark day for women’s football, there was an electric atmosphere created by the 35,000 fans that had packed a sold-out Philips Stadium – a record turnout for the final of the UEFA Women’s Champions League.

Fresh from the disappointment of losing the Frauen Bundesliga title, the consensus before kick-off was that Tommy Stroot's side were going to have to be perfect against a Barcelona team making their fourth final appearance in the last five years. And Wolfsburg made a perfect start.

Ewa Pajor, top scorer in the Champions League this season, provided the press that forced Lucy Bronze off the ball before producing a sensational strike from outside the box that broke the deadlock after just two minutes and 57 seconds of play.

The team to score first have won the last four Champions League finals, and the early opener played into Wolfsburg’s hands as they proved ruthless in transition to extend their lead courtesy of captain Alexandra Popp. Competing in her seventh final and playing in the lone striker role, Popp was again instrumental as she headed home Pajor’s pin-point cross.

A tale of two halves

The She-Wolves had their sights set on clinching their first Champions League title since beating Tyresö in 2014, when they became the last team to overturn a two-goal half-time deficit to be crowned European champions.

Jonatan Giraldez's star-studded Barcelona side were intent on changing that though as they leveled the score line within five minutes of the restart when Patri Guijarro produced a quick-fire double that changed the tone of proceedings in Eindhoven.

Desperate to atone for the defeat suffered at the hands of record titleholders Lyon last season Barcelona completed the comeback with 20 minutes remaining when former Wolfsburg winger Fridolina Rolfö kept her composure amidst some panicky defending.

No club has inflicted more European defeats upon Barcelona than Wolfsburg, but there was to be no fairytale ending for Stroot’s side. Instead, it was the Spanish giants who banished memories of their loss in Turin last year, as they claimed the UEFA Women’s Champions League title for the second time in three seasons.

Edited by: Carla Bleiker

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jun 03, 2023 11:20 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website