Barcelona 3-2 Wolfsburg: Rolfo nets winner to claim Champions League
Fridolina Rolfo’s strike completed a stunning second-half comeback to secure Barcelona the Champions League trophy with a 3-2 victory over Wolfsburg at Eindhoven’s sold-out Philips Stadion.
The Spanish side were favourites to win a second title in three years but were stunned by Ewa Pajor’s opener after just three minutes, while Alexandra Popp extended Wolfsburg’s advantage to two before the break.
Two goals inside two second-half minutes for Patricia Guijarro brought Barcelona back into the contest immediately following the restart before they benefited from a Wolfsburg error to seal the win.
Barca’s victory also made English history, with Lioness Lucy Bronze becoming the first from her country to win the Champions League title with two clubs having previously done so three times with Lyon.
Both sides had eliminated English opponents to get here, with Wolfsburg seeing off Arsenal and Barcelona reaching their fourth showpiece in five seasons after drawing 1-1 with Chelsea in their second leg to advance 2-1 on aggregate.
Current England and former Netherlands boss Sarina Wiegman brought out the trophy on a sunny afternoon in her native country, and was no doubt delighted to see Bronze, recovered from knee surgery, back in the Barcelona starting line-up exactly seven weeks before the Lionesses open their World Cup campaign.
It was the England defender’s mistake, however, that led to her side conceding after just two minutes and 57 seconds – the fastest Barcelona had ever fallen behind in the competition.
Barca had a shot stopped by Merle Frohms before Pajor won the ball off Bronze and made her way into the centre before drilling past Sandra Panos into the top right corner.
That likely conjured up painful memories for Barcelona, who conceded to eventual 3-1 winners Lyon after six minutes last year in Turin.
Irene Paredes cringed after wasting a free header, while at the other end Sveindis Jonsdottir had a half-volley saved for the Frauen-Bundesliga runners-up.
Caroline Graham Hansen found herself in a perfect position to level from Mapi Leon’s excellent delivery but the Norwegian could not connect and seemed thrown off by the bounce the ball took en route to the six-yard box.
As the Liga F champions struggled to settle into a dominant rhythm, Pajor turned provider and sent a fine delivery in the direction for Popp to dutifully head home – Popp in the process equalling Ada Hegerberg’s UWCL record as she got herself on the finals scoresheet in a fourth separate season.
It took an alert Frohms to deny Salma Paralluelo late in the period and send her side into the second half with a two-goal advantage.
That was erased within five minutes after the restart when Guijarro collected Graham Hansen’s cut-back, then nodded her second past a leaping Frohms two minutes later from Aitana Bonmati’s delivery.
Barcelona’s comeback was complete after Lynn Wilms’ attempted clearance instead deflected off team-mate Kathrin Hendrich, allowing Mariona Caldentey to tap the ball to Rolfo, who fired in the 70th-minute winner from the edge of the six-yard box.
Both benches showed nerves during seven minutes of stoppage time, but it was Barca who ultimately survived a late scare to secure the trophy.