The UEFA Women's Champions League title holders were clinical in a three-goal victory.
If there were any doubts about Barcelona's validity as the reigning UEFA Women's Champions League title holders, they went a long way toward dispelling them in a comprehensive 4-1 group-stage victory over visiting Arsenal on Tuesday.
Barca found joy in possession from the opening whistle, keeping the Gunners pushed back in their own half for most of the match. While the English side were resolute in their defensive posture, it was only a matter of time before the hosts found the back of the net and they did just that in scoring twice within an 11-minute span to break the game open.
Mariona Caldentey's 31st-minute strike was followed by Alexia Putellas' marker in the 42nd as Barca's constant pressure finally paid off. Arsenal came out of the halftime break looking to get themselves back into the match, but a 47th-minute goal by Asisat Oshoala ended any hopes of a comeback.
The Gunners did manage a spell of good play midway through the second half, thanks in large part to the influence of Tobin Heath, and they scored their lone goal of the match in the 74th minute off a Heath free kick that was redirected into the net by Frida Maanum.
That was as close as Arsenal would get though, and Lieke Martin's late strike restored the three-goal advantage for the Catalans. Barca could've added another in stoppage time if not for an excellent stop by Arsenal goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger on an Alexia Putellas penalty kick.
Elsewhere on Tuesday, Hoffenheim trounced HB Køge 5-0, with Tine De Caigny scoring a second half brace for the German side. Meanwhile, seven-time UWCL champions Lyon got off to a winning start with a 0-3 victory at BK Häcken, while Benfica and Bayern battled to a scoreless draw in Portugal.
DAZN News provided live commentary and analysis of the Barcelona vs. Arsenal match. Here's how the game played out.
Lieke Martens times her run to perfection and latches onto a through ball just inside the Arsenal half. She fights past a number of defenders and has the entire goal to shoot at, eventually side-footing it past the helpless 'keeper and putting an end to any ideas of some late drama.
They're enjoying the lion's share of possession and looking very dangerous every time they go forward. Arsenal meanwhile are sitting tight and looking for breakaways, and they've done so twice so far to no avail.