Barcelona into 3rd straight Women’s Champions League final

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona reached its third straight Women’s Champions League final after a 1-1 draw with Chelsea on Thursday in front of more than 72,000 fans at Camp Nou Stadium.

The Catalan club advanced 2-1 on aggregate after having won the semifinal first leg 1-0 in London on Saturday.

Barcelona lost last year’s final to Lyon, but the previous year it beat Chelsea for its first continental title.

Barcelona will face either Arsenal or Wolfsburg, whose second leg is Monday in London after a 2-2 draw in Germany over the weekend.

The final will be on June 3 in Eindhoven in the Netherlands.

Caroline Graham Hansen, who scored Barcelona’s winner in the first leg, put the Catalan club ahead in the 63rd minute. Aitana Bonmati carried the ball to the edge of the box and slipped it to Graham Hansen, who fired it into the net as defender Jess Carter slid to try to clear it at the goal line.

“This was our objective at the start of the season — to make it to the final and of course win it,” Bonmati said. “So we’ve reached the first objective. We’ve made it to the final. Now, we need to go for it.”

Chelsea equalized in the 67th when Guro Reiten smashed the ball in from close range after Sandra Panos had saved Sam Kerr’s shot.

“Coming into the tie, with 72,000 fans here, we knew it wouldn’t be easy but, by not conceding early, we gave ourselves a chance to build,” Chelsea manager Emma Hayes told the club’s website. “We grew into the game, we got more aggressive and we created some good chances. It wasn’t quite enough and I’m stood here now just absolutely gutted to be totally honest.”

Two-time Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas was back in Barcelona’s squad but stayed on the bench the whole match. She was sidelined for about nine months after tearing her ACL last July.


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