Our nine-game winning streak came to an end on Tuesday night as we were beaten 4-1 by Barcelona at Estadio Johan Cruyff.
Jonas Eidevall would have hoped to maintain his perfect start to life with Arsenal, but the reigning champions were simply too strong in our opening group stage fixture.
Jonatan Giráldez’s side took control of the game early on and created a number of dangerous chances, forcing Manuela Zinsberger into an outstanding fingertip save, before eventually opening the scoring through Mariona Caldentey.
Former Gunner Asisat Oshoala fired low and saw her driven effort pushed away by Zinsberger, but Caldentey reacted first inside the penalty area to finish into the bottom corner.
Alexia Putellas then went on to double their advantage with just three minutes remaining of the first half, as Oshoala raced behind our defence and squared the ball for a tap-in from close range.
Oshoala caused us trouble all night long and shortly after the restart grabbed her reward, latching onto Caldentey’s inch-perfect through ball to finish coolly past Zinsberger.
From there we began to wrestle back control of the game with the introduction of Tobin Heath.
The USA international sent an inviting free-kick delivery into the penalty area with her left foot and Frida Maanum was on hand to convert her first Arsenal goal from close range.
We continued to push forward in search of a late comeback, but it wasn’t enough as substitute Lieke Martens breached our defence and dinked a delicate effort into the back of the net.
Barcelona were then awarded a penalty deep into stoppage time, but Zinsberger produced another outstanding save to deny Putellas her second of the evening.
WHAT IT MEANS
We will now face Everton in the Women’s Super League on Sunday, October 10, before hosting Hoffenheim in the Champions League on Thursday, October 14.
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