Barcelona continued their perfect start to the Champions League group stages with a hard-fought 3-0 victory over Bayern Munich at Camp Nou on Thursday evening.
The hosts turned in a flowing team performance but were made to work for their win after being held in the first 45 by a robust Bayern side.
Second-half goals from Geyser, Aitana Bonmati, and Claudia Pina eventually broke Bayern’s resolve to leave Barcelona in a prime position to qualify for the knockout stages.
Barcelona burst out of the blocks, with a last-ditch Georgia Stanway tackle and fine Maria Grohs save needed to keep out Bonmati and then Geyser inside the opening exchanges.
Barca has made a habit of completely blowing teams away in this season’s competition, hitting 13 goals across their opening two group-stage fixtures, and it appeared if they got one, the floodgates would open. Despite their early pressure, they were largely left frustrated in the first half by a defensively disciplined Bayern.
Bon matin fired a whisker over from the edge of the box and drew a terrific one-handed save from Grohs as the opening 45 finished goalless.
Having done so well to keep Barca at bay in the first half, Bayern conceded just two minutes after the break. Fridolina Rolfo provided the cross, and Ana-Maria Crnogorčević intelligently nodded the ball across the goal for Geyser to head home.
Rodolfo was again instrumental as the hosts doubled their advantage 12 minutes later, picking out Bonmati with a cutback, and the Barcelona midfielder effortlessly found the bottom corner with a first-time, pinpoint finish.
Pina added a sumptuous third just after the hour mark, rocketing an effort into the top corner from the edge of the area as Barcelona eventually cruised to a deserved victory.
GK: Sandra Panos – 6/10 – Didn’t have a great deal to do as Barcelona largely dominated.
RB: Lucy Bronze (83′ for Torrejon)- 7/10 – Didn’t put a foot wrong defensively and drove Barca forward with her directness.
CB: Mapi Leon – 6/10 – Corner deliveries were initially a little disappointing, but turned in a solid performance and allowed Barca to build well from the back.
CB: Irene Paredes – 6/10 – Didn’t have a huge amount to do defensively. Efficient in possession.
LB: Fridolina Rolfö – 9/10 – Provided the crucial deliveries for Barcelona’s first and second goals with a cross and smart cutback. The left flank was a constant threat for Barca.
CM: Keira Walsh (77′ for Engen) – 8/10 – Born to play for Barcelona. Ruthlessly efficient in possession, outrageous in tight spaces.
CM: Aitana Bonmati (83′ for Vilamala) – 9/10 – Absolutely everywhere with a smart, intricate movement. Outstanding on the ball to keep Barcelona ticking over, made her well-taken goal look easy.
CM: Patri Guijarro – 7/10 – Largely kept under wraps in the first half, but produced the terrific pass to break the lines and send Rolfo away for Barcelona’s second goal
RW: Ana-Maria Crnogorčević – 7/10 – Headed over a golden chance in the first half. Smartly headed across the face of the goal to the unmarked Geyser for Barca’s opener.
FW: Geyser (69′ for Oshoala) – 8/10 – Had a big chance in the opening exchanges but was denied by Grohs. Opened the scoring with a header and picked out Pina for Barca’s third
LW: Clàudia Pina (69′ for Paralluelo) – 8/10 – Added a third for Barcelona with a stunning individual goal, finding the top corner with a rasping effort from range.
SUB: Salma Paralluelo (69′ for Pina) – 6/10
SUB: Asisat Oshoala (69′ for Geyse) – 6/10
SUB: Ingrid Engen (77′ for Walsh) – 6/10
SUB: Marta Torrejón (83′ for Bronze) – 6/10
SUB: Bruna Vilamala (83′ for Bonmati) – 6/10
Bayern Munich (4-3-3)
GK: Maria Grohs – 6/10 – Produced a big save early on to deny Geyser, and a fantastic stop to keep out Bonmati. Beaten at her near post for Barca’s second.
RB: Maximiliane Rall (90′ for Bragstad)– 4/10 – Struggled to contend with the lively Rolfo, with Barcelona’s first two goals coming down the Bayern right.
CB: Tainara – 6/10 – Held firm defensively in the first half, but question marks over the Bayern marking for the first goal, with Barcelona allowed two free headers in the Bayern box.
CB: Glódís Perla Viggósdóttir – 5/10 – A resilient first-half performance, but lost Geyser for Barcelona’s first goal, and gave Pina far too much space for Barca’s third.
LB: Carolin Simon – 6/10 – Put in a huge defensive shift and had a real battle with Crnogorčević.
CM: Lina Magull (74′ for Kumagai) – 6/10 – Ran her heart out and helped frustrate Barca in the first, but was ultimately unable to cope with Barca’s dynamic midfield trio.
CM: Georgia Stanway – 7/10 – Made a great last-ditch tackle to keep out Bonmati early in the first half, and helped Bayern get out of the Barca press really well on a number of occasions – a probing cross-field pass in the first half was a real highlight.
CM: Sarah Zadrazil – 7/10 – Did such a good defensive job on Patri, particularly in the first half, and helped Bayern robustly harry, press, and frustrate Barca.
RW: Franziska Kett (60′ for Lohmann) – 5/10 – Handed her first Champions League start at the age of just 18, but was largely unable to have a huge impact on the game. Didn’t offer a great deal of protection to help halt the marauding Rolfo.
ST: Lea Schuller (74′ for Laurent) – 5/10 – Largely left to feed off scraps as Bayern spent large periods of the game soaking up pressure.
LW: Klara Buhl – 5/10 – Hit the side netting in the opening 10 minutes, but otherwise unable to leave a lasting attacking impact on proceedings.
SUB: Sydney Lohmann (60′ for Kett) – 5/10
SUB: Saki Kumagai (74′ for Magull) – 5/10
SUB: Emelyne Laurent (74′ for Schuller) – 5/10
SUB: Emilie Bragstad (90′ for Rall) N/A