Following Juventus Women’s 2-0 defeat to Barcelona in the first leg of their UEFA Women’s Champions League Last 32 game two weeks ago, the Bianconere knew they would have to put on a big display in Spain to stand any chance of a turnaround. Although Rita Guarino’s girls didn’t get the result, the performance certainly came, despite Barcelona ultimately triumphing 2-1 (4-1 on aggregate).
The Bianconere started the game well, keeping the ball and went very close to scoring in the 16thminute and reduce their deficit. Captain, Sara Gama rose highest from a Sofie-Junge Pedersen corner, only to be foiled by a great save from Barcelona goalkeeper, Sandra Panos.
Despite the great beginning, Juve weren’t able to build on their early threat and Barcelona struck to give themselves a 3-0 aggregate lead in the 32ndminute. Captain, Alexia Puttellas headed in a cross from the right-hand side that gave Laura Giuliani no chance in the Bianconere goal. The hosts felt themselves in the ascendancy and three minutes later clipped the post through Caroline Graham.
In the 38thminute Barcelona doubled their lead. A corner kick swung in by Stefanie van der Gragt, was headed towards goal and was unfortunate to come off the back of Cristiana Girelli, as the first half finished 2-0.
Almost 10 minutes from time, Juventus Women got the goal that their hard work merited. Great play by Eniola Aluko in the box saw her backheel the ball into the path of Lias Boattin and her first-time cross was headed in by substitute, Andrea Staskova, who had just been on the pitch for a matter of seconds.
Juventus Women exit the tournament with their heads held high, growing a little more in experience in Europe, able to take the proud performance with them into the rest of the season, as the girls look to defend their title for the third-year running.