Barcelona 4-1 Arsenal: Barca cruise past Gunners in UWCL group stage opener

barcelona-20211005-getty-ftr (Getty Images)

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.


Full-time: Barcelona 4-1 Arsenal

It's nothing less than the deserved result for Barca, who were incredible on the day.

90+5' Big save!

Zinsberger read's Alexia Putellas' shot well and parries it away. That saves a bit of face for Arsenal.

90+4' Penalty for Barca

To add insult to injury, the home side earn a penalty after Nobbs takes a player down in front of goal.

89' This is is all but over

Barcelona have reverted to toying with Arsenal in possession as the clock is running out.

84' Goal Barca!

Barcelona 4-1 Arsenal
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.

74' Goal Arsenal!

Barcelona 3-1 Arsenal

It's been coming. Tobin Heath serves in a great free kick from the right flank that is redirected in by Frida Maanum. 

This should make things a bit more interesting now.

73' Cleared off the line!

Arsenal continue their good play and get a shot on a wide-open goal but María Pilar León slides in to cover and stops the ball from entering the Barca net.

68' Arsenal threatening

The visitors have seen more of the ball, and thus, more of the opportunities in the last several minutes.

It could be that Barca feels comfortable with the three-goal lead and are allowing their opposition to dictate play, but Arsenal are definitely more in this game than they were even 10 minutes ago.

60' Tobin Heath comes close

The American makes space for herself and hits a long effort from the top of the box. It whistles just wide of the near post, but it's at least some positive play by the Gunners.

59' Barca continue to threaten

Arsenal goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger has been very busy since the restart, with the hosts looking to keep up the pressure and find another goal or two.

47' Barcelona goal!

Barcelona 3-0 Arsenal
So much for an Arsenal comeback. Oshoala is sent through on a breakaway and easily slips it past the onrushing goalkeeper.

46' Second half underway

Can Arsenal climb back into this game or will Barca continue to cruise?

45' Half-time

One added minute plays without incident and it's 2-0 to Barcelona at the break, deservedly so after a dominant first 45 minutes.

42' 2-0 to Barca!

Oshoala has acres of space on the right as Arsenal shout for an offside, but she's free to cut back for Alexia to finish and double the advantage.

39' Walti down hurt

Stretched her leg quite awkwardly on a clearance, but looks like she'll be ok to continue.

31' Goal Barcelona!

It was coming, for sure. Oshoala's drive is parried by Zinsberger and Mariona Caldentey is first to the loose ball, taking a touch before calmly breaking the deadlock from close range.

30' Another chance

Barca corner finds the head of Marta, but her effort is safely claimed by Zinsberger in the Gunners' goal.

23' Patri has a shot blocked

It's heavy rain thus far from the hosts. Will they get that breakthrough soon, or can Arsenal punish them on the counter?

17' Still mostly Barca

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.

10' Another shot goes wide for Barcelona

Asisat Oshoala gets on the end of a through ball into the Arsenal box and lets a shot fly, but it's also just past the far post.

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