An imprecise Barça beats Ahtletic and reaches the final of the Queen’s Cup | Soccer | Sports

Barcelona can make mistakes. He can show weakness, exhibit inaccuracy and show that he is more human than his record and winning percentage let on. But he can’t tolerate losing. Or rather, not win. On his darkest day, he delivered – with more skill than show – against an Athletic Club that presented itself as a candidate to govern possession, and make things impossible. Between suffering and haste, Barcelona won again and sealed their place in their twelfth final of the Queen’s Cup.

FCBFFC Barcelona Women


Sandra Paños, Marta Torrejón, Ingrid Engen, Lucy Bronze, Ona Batlle, Aitana Bonmatí, Clàudia Pina, Patri Guijarro, Mariona Caldentey, Bruna Vilamala and Salma Paralluelo

ATHF Athletic Women’s Club


Athletic Women's Club

Maríasun Quiñones, Bibi, Maddi Torre, Naia Landaluze, Mariana Cerro, Ane Elexpuru, Nerea Nevado, Clara Pinedo, Itxaso Uriarte, Patricia Zugasti and Ane Azkona

Goals 1-0 min. 19: Mariona Caldentey. 1-1 min. 62: Clara Pinedo. 2-1 min. 71: Patri Guijarro.

Referee Zulema González González

Yellow cards Itxaso Uriarte (min. 45) and Esmee Brugts (min. 86)

David Aznar doesn’t like to talk about there being impossible things. This is what he assured before the match, and this is how he wanted to demonstrate it during the match. But to reach the final, Athletic needed at least four goals against Barça, something that only Benfica has achieved this season. They tried it with very high pressure, holding the ball more slowly and achieving a continuity absent in the first leg in San Mamés, where the Bilbao players were closed in their own field and were unable to withstand the double from Aitana Bonmatí and the shot by Salma Paralluelo.

And even though they are solid in defense and manage to prevent the usual fluidity of the Barça club, a mistake against Barcelona is always costly: Nerea Nevado made a mistake in a pass that was taken advantage of by a crouched Mariona Caldentey, prepared to steal the ball, to advance with it and, without a rival or need for association, to score the first goal that increased the Blaugrana’s cushion.

Barcelona’s work was done, but they continued searching—in a hasty and imprecise manner—for the second goal. Amid the lack of ideas from the Blaugrana, Clara Pinedo took advantage of Ingrid Engen’s mistake inside the area to shore up the tie.

The 5,225 people present in the stadium – the second best attendance of the season – did not collapse, and held their breath when Alexia Putellas took off her warm-up bib. Amidst cheers and applause, the captain made an appearance at her house after four months of absence, as did Fridolina Rolfö, who had not played at Johan since April of last year. Barcelona suffered until the end. But Patri Guijarro rescued the team with a powerful shot that beat Quiñones, and sealed the victory.

In the final on May 18, they will face Natalia Arroyo’s Real Sociedad, a team they defeated in the last league game with seven goals under the rain of Zubieta. If they win, it will be the tenth Barça Queen’s Cup. But Barcelona also knows how to make mistakes.

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