As if it was any surprise, Real Madrid Femenino fail to take points off Barcelona Femení, who maintain their 100% win record in Primera Iberdrola. The defeat leaves Las Blancas 22 points behind Barcelona, 6 points behind fourth-placed Athletic Bilbao.
This game began in the most typical Barca Femení fashion as they managed to find the net thrice in the first 23 minutes. Given Barca’s dominance and the sort of lackadaisical performance from Real Madrid Femenino on display, it looked like the European champions would slam at least 5 more goals. The 3rd Barca goal, though, was a wake-up call for Alberto Toril’s troops.
Real Madrid Femenino began to string together passes and find spaces in the Barca half. Their attacks did alarm the Barca defence, if not completely throwing them off their feet. They went into the break with no further damage.
Real Madrid Femenino began the second half with a much better rhythm. The movement off the ball was good, Claudia Zornoza was starting to dictate the tempo, and the wingers were beginning to get more involved in the game. The clear superiority by the hosts resulted in a 52nd-minute goal from, guess who, Kosovare Asllani. She was the best player on the pitch for Real Madrid Femenino, bar Misa Rodríguez.
The fact that Real Madrid Femenino won the 2nd half (1-0) speaks a lot about the progress of this team. It is certainly a step in the right direction.
Full player ratings below:
Misa Rodríguez (8/10): The shot-stopper is probably the most important and consistent player on the team. I don’t even know how many saves she made. I lost count of them. She is a match-winner and it’s a shame she was on the losing side today. What a player!
Lucia Rodríguez (3/10): She simply couldn’t with the threat posed by Lieke Martens and Fridolina Rolfö. Lucia was no challenge to these two players down that Barcelona left flank.
Rocío Gálvez (4/10): Had a poor first half and was far too slow to deal with the Barcelona forward line.
Ivana Andrés (4.5/10): The captain struggled to deal with the sharpness of the Barcelona attackers. It would have been expected of the captain to step up her game in such a game.
Olga Carmona (3/10): Caroline Hansen Graham was simply a far superior opponent for Olga to handle. The Barcelona right winger was sharper, faster, and obviously more physical than the left-back. She gave the ball away too easily when pressed and her decision-making could’ve been better.
Aurélie Kaci (4/10): The Frenchwoman looked very leg-heavy and the team could’ve used her ball-winning capabilities on a day when the team’s midfield was being run over way too easily.
Claudia Zornoza (4.5/10): She was often caught on the ball as she found it difficult to distribute the ball around.
Kosovare Asllani (7/10): The heart of the team. She was the best outfield player for Real Madrid and always got the team progressing further up the pitch playing as a #10. Rewarded with a goal in the 2nd half.
Athenea del Castillo (4/10): Apart from one or two nutmegs, she was invisible in the game.
Caroline Møller (4/10): Playing out on the left, Møller failed to find her footing. She failed to keep possession and her touches looked very rusty.
Esther González (5.5/10): I am really liking the chemistry between Asllani and Esther. Her work rate is simply fabulous and she gives her all for the team even when she is not on the scoresheet.
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Marta Cardona: Came in for Møller in the 59th minute
Kenti Robles & Maite Oroz: Came in for Lucia and Kaci respectively in the 72nd minute.
Nahikari García & Teresa Abelleira: Came in for del Castillo and Asllani respectively in the 87th minute