Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain complete star-studded Women’s Champions League semifinals lineup

Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain both reached the semifinals of the Women’s Champions League with dominant performances to set up two thrilling clashes in the last four.

Goals from Ballon d’Or winner Aitana Bonmatí, Fridolina Rolfö and Patricia Guijarro earned defending champion Barça a 3-1 win over Norwegian side Brann, as the Catalan club advanced 5-2 on aggregate to set up a showdown against Chelsea.

Meanwhile, PSG will face Lyon in an all-French clash after beating Swedish side Häcken 3-0 in Thursday’s second leg and 5-1 on aggregate thanks to goals from Tabitha Chawinga, Korbin Albert and Marie-Antoinette Katoto.

Leading 2-1 from the first leg in Norway, Barcelona extended its lead in the first half thanks to a piece of individual brilliance from World Cup winner Bonmatí, who spun with the ball before curling a wonderful effort into the far corner.

Barça hasn’t lost at home in the Women’s Champions League since a 1-0 defeat to Lyon in the 2017-18 quarterfinals and Rolfö ensured there was no danger of that unbeaten run coming to an end when she doubled the team’s lead with a tap-in early in the second half.

Tomine Svendheim got a goal back for Brann on 70 minutes with a brilliant finish to cap off a rapid counterattack, but Guijarro was in the right place at the right time to turn Bonmatí’s scuffed shot into an empty net with two minutes remaining to add gloss to the scoreline.

Though the final score looked comfortable, player of the match Caroline Graham Hansen said the team was unhappy with the number of missed chances.

Fridolina Rolfö scores Barcelona's second goal. - Albert Gea/Reuters
Fridolina Rolfö scores Barcelona's second goal. - Albert Gea/Reuters

“Although we are happy to be in the semifinal, there’s a level of frustration that we didn’t score many more goals,” she said, per UEFA. “Quarterfinals are never easy and I think that it’s useful to have something to work on – to let people know that we have to up it a notch for the semis.”

Barcelona has now extended its club-record unbeaten run in the Women’s Champions League to 15 matches and matched Lyon’s record of reaching six straight semifinals, according to UEFA stats.

“Tonight was a good example of what my team are,” Barcelona head coach Jonatan Giráldez added. “We controlled the game, we were 2-0 up and perhaps in that situation another club would have tried to adopt a different kind of possession – but we wanted to go forward.”

PSG eases through to semis

Though it lost 2-1, a resilient Häcken impressed in the first leg against PSG. However, the French side stamped its authority on the match in the opening stages and deservedly broke the deadlock after 27 minutes thanks to Chawinga’s unerring left-footed finish off the post.

The tie was wrapped up 20 minutes from time when Albert fired a stunning long-range finish into the top corner, before Katoto got in front of her marker to head home from Sakina Karchaoui’s cross just three minutes later.

PSG will rightly feel confident going into the semifinal against European powerhouse Lyon, with the team currently on a 22-match unbeaten run and 11-game winning streak at home.

PSG will face Lyon in an all-French clash in the semifinals. - Thibault Camus/AP
PSG will face Lyon in an all-French clash in the semifinals. - Thibault Camus/AP

“It was a good game, there are many reasons to be satisfied,” PSG head coach Jocelyn Prêcheur said, per UEFA. “A clean sheet, three goals, no injuries – it’s almost the perfect story.

“We know Lyon pretty well. We’re very happy about facing them again, especially here at the Parc des Princes.

“Last time, they beat us here – so we’re waiting for our opportunity to get revenge. Of course, we know it’s going to be hard. We’re very excited and motivated to face them.”

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