Graham Hansen leads the way for Barcelona in the Champions League after beating Brann | Soccer | Sports

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Caroline Graham Hansen doesn’t like noise. She prefers media silence, the lights off and the photographers’ lenses far away. But on the artificial grass field and in the cold of Norway – her native country – she opened the scoring to deafen Brann and her compatriots. The Barça winger shone again, without needing anyone to illuminate her. She was accompanied by Salma Paralluelo with another goal in a match in which Barcelona was choked in the rival area: the centers were erratic and the shots (32) were neutralized. A strange Barça that did not recognize itself against Brann, solid and effective defensively, and that made the Blaugranes uncomfortable in the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinals, but that managed to advance on its path through Europe (1-2).

Jonatan Giráldez did not want to leave a stitch without a thread. The matches in Europe for the Barça club have always been too busy. So he decided to bring out his usual gala eleven in the Champions League on a special day for two players: Graham Hansen and Ingrid Engen, both Norwegians. In front of them, Brann, the relief team from the group stage. A club that usually scores little, but concedes less. Rookies in the European competition – it is their second participation in the tournament – ​​this is their first qualifying round.

But his inexperience was not an obstacle to standing up to Barcelona. Not so much on the field – where Giráldez’s team was superior – but on the scoreboard. The Norwegians did not wait behind when the Blaugranas dominated the ball, and came out with high pressure to try to avoid a rout. They tried to close all the passages, but the Barça players settled in the rival area, shooting again and again against an excellent Mikalsen. The Norwegian built a wall in the goal, save after save, successfully avoiding a more than possible Barça bleeding. He couldn’t stop the silent Graham, however. A corner after a shot by Mariona Caldentey was the perfect excuse for the winger to open the scoring, and try to finish the game with another one during the second half.

Brann closed after the first goal, and took advantage of Barcelona’s positional or ball errors to run towards the goal. Although Ingrid Engen and Irene Paredes managed to channel the few Norwegian attacks, a defensive error in a counterattack caused Cecilie Kvamme, the team’s captain, to tie the tie, gaping and leading them. The party rose in the stands, and the seriousness on Giráldez’s face, taking notes in his classic notebook.

The errors in crosses and the constant unsuccessful shots by Barça persisted during the second half. Until a missing Salma Paralluelo showed why she is the competition’s top scorer and she scored to save the Blaugranas from a tie. Until the end they tried to increase the cushion, but the referee whistled. Ahead of them they will have the return home, where Barcelona is growing. Although in between, they will face Real Madrid, with half of the work in Europe already completed, and their sights set on Bilbao.

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