Barcelona, Arsenal reach Women’s Champs League semifinals
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona cruised into the last four of the Women’s Champions League for the fifth straight year by routing Roma 5-1 in the second leg of the quarterfinals on Wednesday.
Arsenal also advanced after beating Bayern Munich 2-0 at Emirates Stadium in London to overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first leg and end the German side’s 14-match winning streak in all competitions.
Barcelona advanced 6-1 on aggregate and will face defending champion Lyon or Chelsea in April’s semifinals. Arsenal will play Paris Saint-Germain or Wolfsburg.
Fridolina Rolfö scored twice in the first half for Barcelona and Mapi León added another to make it 3-0 by the break. Asisat Oshoala and Patri Guijarro scored two more shortly after interval before Annamaria Serturini netted a consolation goal for Roma.
After winning the opening leg 1-0 at Stadio Olimpico in Rome in front of a record-setting crowd of 39,454, Barcelona dominated from the start at Camp Nou.
Oshoala knocked down a cross for unmarked Rolfö in the 11th minute to fire home a low shot from 10 meters (yards) to double the aggregate lead.
Some 20 minutes later, León unleashed an unstoppable left-foot drive from well outside the area that gave diving Roma goalkeeper Camelia Ceasar no chance.
In first-half stoppage time, Caroline Graham Hansen broke down the right to provide a precise cross for Rolfö at the far post to tap in her second.
Just seconds in the second half, Aitana Bonmatí presented another perfectly timed cross from the right for Oshoala to make it 4-0 from close range. And minutes later, Guijarro headed in Hansen’s corner for the fifth.
Arsenal suffered an early blow when captain Kim Little had to be substituted soon after the kickoff due to an injury but then scored twice in a six-minute span in the first half to turn things around.
Pressuring its opponent, Arsenal won the ball back inside Bayern’s half and played a series of quick passes to tee up Frida Maanum, who drove a shot from just outside the area into the roof of the net to put the hosts 1-0 ahead in the 20th minute.
Six minutes later, Katie McCabe set up the second with a cross from the left for Stina Blackstenius to head in the decisive goal and send Arsenal into the semis for the first time in 10 years.
Arsenal then wasted a string of clear scoring chances in both halves to stretch the advantage.
The English club has won its last six home matches in all competitions without conceding a goal.
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