Las Blancas qualified for the UEFA Women’s Champions thanks to a goal from Kosovare Asllani and a 2-1 Barcelona win over Atletico de Madrid. It was a special day in the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano as Real Madrid achieved qualification and Babett Peter and Asllani played their final match at the Di Stefano for Real Madrid.
Real Madrid started the match on the front foot. They knew that they needed three points and they needed Barcelona to defeat Atletico de Madrid if they were to qualify for next season’s UEFA Women’s Champions League. It only took the Catalans 11 minutes to grab the lead over Atleti and they soon doubled it in the 23rd minute which meant Real Madrid just needed to win.
Las Blancas allowed Villarreal space on the counter early in the match but soon tightened up the defense and piled pressure on the Yellow Submarine. Real Madrid won corner after corner and spammed crosses into the box but were unable to capitalize.
In the 43rd minute, Kosovare Asllani was brought down in the area and appealed for a penalty that wasn’t given. But moments later Esther Gonzalez was challenged by the Villarreal keeper and the referee awarded the spot-kick. Asllani stepped up and converted, giving Real Madrid a season-defining lead.
Madrid started the second half well but Villarreal started to find spaces to exploit. Maria Cienfuegos had a great chance to equalize but was wasteful. The Yellow Submarine continued to cause Las Blancas issues and they wasted another incredible chance at the 67th minute.
Las Blancas were better after the second-half water break. They controlled the ball better and limited the space Villarreal had in transition. Despite some shaky defending and some interesting substitutions, Las Blancas were able to see out a 1-0 win.
- 3′ Olga Carmona played a short corner to Claudia Zornoza. The routine culminated in Esther laying the ball off to Maite Oroz at the top of the area. The midfielder lifted her shot over the bar.
- 18′ Real Madrid played a corner kick to Ivana Andres in midfield. Villarreal won it back and, after a fortunate bounce, counter attacked. The Yellow Submarine crossed to the back post but a poor header went well wide of the goal.
- 19′ Athenea del Castillo drove into the 18-yard box and shot. It was blocked by a number of Villarreal defenders.
- 23′ Kosovare Asllani received a throw-in and turned her defender. She cut a cross across the face of the goal but no Real Madrid player was able to get on the end of it.
- 28′ Athenea danced around her defender and into the box. Her cross deflected to Zornoza, whose shot was cleared by a defender off the line. Las Blancas recovered possession and Maite shot wide of the goal.
- 41′ Maite Oroz turned at the top of the box and attempted to curl a shot from distance but it was well wide of goal.
- 43′ Asllani turned in the box and was brought down. She appealed for a penalty but the referee waved play on. Esther continued to play and challenged the keeper. The striker was brought down and this time the referee pointed to the spot.
- 44′ The Swede stepped to the spot and converted giving Real Madrid a deserved lead.
- 45+1′ Zornoza played a low cross to the back post and Athenea arrived to meet him but she hit it over the bar.
- 45+3′ Olga was played through on goal. She took a touch inside at the top of the box and hit a low shot that was saved by the keeper. White went into the half up a goal. Barcelona were up 2-0 against Atletico de Madrid.
- 46′ Teresa and Esther were replaced by Kaci and Caroline Moller Hansen to start the second half.
- 48′ Real Madrid won the ball back in the attacking third. Kaci passed to Zornoza, who struck toward a goal but it rose over the bar.
- 50′ Villarreal were gifted a brilliant opportunity to equalize. Maria Cienfuegos met a cross on the volley but shanked it terribly
- 57′ Rocio rose to meet a corner kick and looped a header toward a goal but it was claimed by the keeper.
- 61′ Las Blancas played through the lines and Moller played it to Asllani at the top of the box. The Swede snapped a quick shot right at the keeper.
- 64′ Sofie Svava came on for Asllani. Real Madrid legend was given an ovation as she left the pitch at the Di Stefano for the last time.
- 67′ The Real Madrid defense was caught napping again and Villarreal had another golden chance to equalize but sent it over the bar.
- 82′ Kaci fired from distance but it was easily saved.
- 84′ Misa was forced into a crucial save to keep the Yellow Submarine off the board.
- 87′ Athena was replaced by Lucia.
- Las Blancas saw out the win, as did Barcelona, and Real Madrid qualified for the UWCL for the second consecutive season.
Real Madrid Women play Barcelona on Wednesday, May 25 in the semifinals of the Copa de la Reina. Kick off is scheduled for 3 pm ET (21:00 pm CET).
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism