By Sedara Philip
Chelsea were beaten 1-0 by Barcelona in the first leg of their UEFA Women’s Champions League semifinal clash on Saturday afternoon.
A crowd of 27,697 spectators watched the game at Stamford Bridge, which is a record UEFA Women’s Champions League attendance in the United Kingdom.
Super Falcons star Asisat Oshoala and Spanish-Nigerian wonderkid Vicky Lopez were named among Barcelona’s substitutes, while Anglo-Polish-Nigerian midfielder AshantI Akpan was omitted from Chelsea’s matchday squad despite training with the first team on Friday.
It was Barcelona who were able to take the early lead through Caroline Graham Hansen who unleashed a fierce shot from distance that flew into the top corner in the fourth minute.
Chelsea responded and had the ball in the back of the net in the 25th minute through Reiten, but it was ruled out for offside.
The WSL champions wee knocking on the door in search of an equalizer in the second half but Barcelona were able to hold on to their slender advantage.
While Oshoala came off the bench to replace match-winner Hansen in the 84th minute, Lopez was a non-playing substitute.
Barcelona will host Chelsea in the return leg next week, on Thursday at the Spotify Camp Nou.