Atletico Madrid 0-1 FC Barcelona: Hamraoui's goal sends Barca into the semis
FC Barcelona progress to the semi-finals | (Photo by Juanma - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

After they defeated Atletico Madrid on Friday night, FC Barcelona progress to the semi-finals of the UEFA Women's Champions League and will face VfL Wolfsburg on the 25th August at 19:00 BST.

English midfielder Jade Moore came straight into Atleti's midfield after joining the side from the Spanish capital on loan from the Orlando Pride in the NWSL and played her first game since featuring for Reading against Leicester in the FA Cup back in February.

The match was officiated by Stéphanie Frappart, who made history when she became the first woman to officiate in a major men's European match when she was appointed as the referee for last year's UEFA Super Cup.

The match

Barcelona looked the stronger of the two sides from the off, focusing on controlling the possession at the back and quickly pressing whenever they were dispossessed. However, an incredibly defensive Atleti side, who played a style of football not too dissimilar to what Diego Simeone's men's side are famed for, proved hard to break down.

New signing for Atleti, Alia Guagni, picked up a yellow card in the 23rd minute after she was caught pulling the shirt of Lieke Martens.

Hedvig Lindahl immediately proved her worth as another one of Atletico's new pickups in the summer transfer window. Although the deep defensive line often nullified any threat that Barca posed, the safe hands of Lindahl provided much-needed security for Atleti.

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Barcelona went into half time with the lions' share of the game's possession, with Atleti only having 32% of the ball, but their inability to break down the opposition defence and be clinical in front of goal led to it being goalless after the first 45 minutes.

The first change of the game took place in the 64rd minute, with Mariona Caldenty replacing Lieke Martens, who had been impressive in the game until that point.

Second half

Despite the lack of possession, Atletico were able to keep the upper hand and control how the game was played. The strength of Atleti's defence consistently marshalled Barcelona's attacking efforts out wide, neutralising the effect that Hermoso and Oshoala could have up top.

Atleti made the second change of the game when Emelyne Laurent replaced Carmen Menayo in the 72nd minute.

Caroline Graham Hansen found herself with what was possibly the bast chance of the game in the 75th minute. One-on-one with the keeper and coming in from the right-hand side of the box, she fired off a shot, when squaring the ball to Asisat Oshoala may have been a better option, but it was stopped by Hedvig Lindahl.

It took until the 80th minute for the breakthrough and it was Kheira Hamraoui who put Barcelona a goal in front. After brilliant footwork from Caldentry, the ball was played to Graham Hansen on the right. She whipped in a cross which Asisat Oshoala tried to connect with on a bicycle kick, but after she missed it fell to Hamraui who calmly fired the ball into the near post and past Lindahl.

Just minutes after Barca netted their goal, Oshoala was replaced by Aitana Bonmati in the 82nd minute.

Turid Knaak and Angela Sosa came off and were replaced by Ana Marcos Moral and Alex Chidiac with two minutes left to play.

Takeaways from the game

A real tenacity to Atletico

It was a tie that was always going to be an uphill battle for the side from the Capital. Without six players due to positive COVID-19 and missing a suspended Ludmilla, Atleti were only able to field six substitutes.

However, the level of determination in the side was evident from early on, with a perfect blend of parking the bus when defending and utilising the pace of Toni Duggan when going forwards. Whenever a Barcelona player picked up the ball, a Los Rojiblancos shirt quickly closed them down.

Putellas and Martens duo impresses

The interplay between Alexia Putellas and Lieke Martens stood out throughout the game and it was clear the level of understanding that the two had of each other.

The two consistently played good balls through to provide for the rest of the team, linking the play between the midfield and the forward two of Hermoso and Oshoala.

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