Barcelona have one foot in the UEFA Women’s Champions League final after dismantling Wolfsburg 5-1 in the semifinal first leg in front of a world-record crowd of 91,648 fans at Camp Nou on Friday.
Alexia Putellas scored twice and Aitana Bonmati, Caroline Graham Hansen, Jennifer Hermoso were also on target as Barca extended their incredible winning run to 45 games in all competitions, dating back to last June.
For Wolfsburg, whose consolation came from Jill Roord, this was their first defeat since November, a run spanning 17 games.
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Barca broke the attendance record in women’s football in the previous round when a crowd of 91,553 saw them beat Real Madrid in March, but they bettered that figure here and they now have the two highest attendances in European football this season.
The second leg will be played at the Volkswagen Arena next Saturday, with the winners facing Lyon or Paris Saint-Germain in the final in Turin on May 21.
This was billed as Barca’s biggest test of the season and there were questions about whether they could take their domestic form into a match against the side that beat them in the 2020 semifinal.
Any doubts were quickly blown away in an incredible opening 10 minutes in which Barca could have scored at least four goals.
Jenni Hermoso celebrates scoring Barcelona’s third goal against Wolfsburg in the first leg of the Women’s Champions League semifinal. Getty Images
Bonmati opened the scoring with just three minutes on the clock, sent through by Friolina Rolfo, the former Wolfsburg player who scored the winner for the German side when these teams last met two years ago.
Rolfo and Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic then missed chances before Barca doubled their lead after 10 minutes. Marta Torrejon won the ball back and Graham Hansen drove into the are to score a sublime solo goal, cutting back on to her left foot and producing a fine finish.
Wolfsburg, two-time winners of the Champions League and on track for a domestic double this season, should have pulled one back soon after. Svenja Huth was set up by Roord, but she was denied twice, first by an Irene Paredes block and then by a Sandra Panos save.
That was a rare moment of Wolfsburg danger in a first half dominated by Barca, though, and they soon had their third when Hermoso turned home after Putellas and Torrejon combined.
Crowd favourite and Ballon d’Or winner Putellas then made it four before the break and the Barca blitz continued into the second half, although their magic touch deserted them in front of goal.
Crnogorcevic saw a goal ruled out for a marginal offside, Almuth Schult made a fine save from Torrejon and Putellas shot just wide as Barca continued to dominate.
Roord pulled one back for Wolfsburg with 20 minutes to play after a lengthy VAR check ruled she was onside, but that only served to push Barcelona to attack again.
Substitute Claudia Pina hit the bar and Asisat Oshoala missed two good chances before Putellas eventually made it five, adding her second of the night and her 10th in the Champions League this season from the penalty spot after being fouled by Dominique Janssen.
Barca went in search of a sixth, but they had to settle for five in the end, with their hunt for four trophies this season still on track. The league and the Spanish Supercopa have already been won; the Champions League and the Copa de la Reina remain.