Despite initially taking the lead through Katie McCabe, we were beaten 5-2 by Barcelona in a pre-season friendly at Meadow Park on Wednesday night.
Lionesses’ head coach Phil Neville was in attendance to open our brand-new North Bank stand, while summer signings Manuela Zinsberger, Jill Roord and Leonie Maier were all named in the starting XI for their first-ever home fixture.
The Spanish outfit reached the final of the Champions League last season and it was clear to see in the opening exchanges, as they coolly dominated possession and created a number of half-chances.
Our defence stood strong, though, and in the 37th minute we grabbed our reward, as McCabe fizzed a low effort in off the post from 20 yards.
It was a deserved lead for our effective attacking play, but it wouldn’t last long, as the visitors struck twice inside two minutes on the stroke of half-time. Patricia Guijarro fired a stunning effort into the top left corner from 25 yards, before former Gunner Asisat Oshoala raced behind our defence and fired past Manuela Zinsberger at the near post.
Montemurro would have hoped for a quick reaction following the break, but just three minutes later we were trailing by two, as Oshoala converted her second of the evening from close range. Substitute Claudia Pina then went on to make it four with a curling finish into the top left corner.
There was hope of a comeback when Kim Little converted from the spot following a handball, but that was quickly rubbished by Pina, who applied the finishing touch to a flowing move for her second - and Barcelona’s fifth - of the evening.
Montemurro’s side are set to face Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, August 25
The game will take place at Meadow Park with kick-off at 2pm (UK time)
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