Barcelona end a perfect season to finish with 30 wins in 30 Primera Division appearances


Barcelona ended the perfect season by beating Atletico Madrid 2-1 on Sunday to end the campaign with 30 wins from 30 Primera Division appearances after claiming a third successive league title in March.

Irene Paredes and Aitana Bonmati scored Barca’s first-half goals at the Johan Cruyff stadium, with Atletico responding through captain Amanda Sampedro after the break.

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Both teams finished the game with 10 women on the pitch as Atletico pushed for an equalizer that would have seen them qualify for next season’s Champions League.

Merel van Dongen was sent off for the visitors for a foul on Jenni Hermoso, Alexia Putellas missing the resulting penalty, and Bonmati was sent off in stoppage time for depriving Rasheedat Ajibade of a clear goalscoring opportunity and Atletico a place in the top three.

Real Madrid took full advantage of Atletico’s loss, beating Villarreal 1-0 to climb to third and final Champions League spot. They will join Barca and Real Sociedad among Europe’s top flight next season.

Barca have been far too good in Spain this season, scoring 159 goals in 30 games and conceding just 11, but their 45-game winning streak was snapped by Wolfsburg in April.

Despite that, they could still end the season with a clean sweep of trophies. After winning the Spanish Supercopa and the championship, they face Lyon in the Champions League final next Saturday in Turin. They also have a Copa de la Reina semi-final coming up against Madrid.

Jonatan Giraldez’s side took a two-goal lead against Atletico in front of a crowd of 5,179 on Sunday thanks to Paredes’ header from a corner and Bonmati’s cross which crept in at the near post.

Putellas, the team captain, missed the chance to make it 3-0 when her penalty was saved by Lola Gallardo after Van Dongen received a second booking for a foul on Hermoso. Gallardo then saved a Hermoso header from close range.

At the time, Barca appeared to be heading for victory, with Melanie Serrano given a guard of honor when she was bought for her final home game after 18 years at the club, but Atletico fought back.

Sampedro’s deflected effort brought them back into the game and when Ajibade ran in stoppage time it looked like they would equalize but Bonmati’s foul ended the game. Rojiblancos‘ hopes to win the point that would have reserved his place in the Champions League.


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