- Madrid defended resolutely
- But late Rolfo penalty the difference
- Barca's dominance over rival continues
TELL ME MORE: Flying high at the top of the league and buoyed by a clamorous home support, Barca dominated the early stages, as Madrid were forced to put in several last-ditch challenges. But the away side remained alert during a testing time defensively, reducing Jonatan Giraldez's side to long range efforts and nearly snatching one themselves through Caroline Weir. For all Madrid's resistance, though, Albert Toril's players never generated much attacking threat, with his typically dynamic full-backs pen backed all game.
As time ticked on and pressure mounted, it was only a matter of time before Barca broke the deadlock, as a triple substitution on the hour mark seemed to spark life into their attack. But it was a starter who made the difference, as Salma Paralluelo's incisive run was stopped illegally inside the box by Athenea del Castillo deep into the second period. Fridolina Rolfo stepped up to send Misa Rodriguez the wrong way, sealing a victory that was far from comfortable, but is, incredibly, Barca's 23rd from 23 Liga F matches.
THE MVP: Rolfo stepped up to convert from 12 yards, but the penalty was won by Paralluelo's sheer strength and tenacity. While Del Castillo's challenge was a poor one, the Spanish winger was Barca's biggest offensive outlet all game. Paralluelo posed a mounting threat on the wing with her pace and incisive dribbling which, in the end, proved too much for the Madrid defence. She was rested with seven minutes to play as Vicky Lopez came on in her place.
THE BIG LOSER: Del Castillo's penalty concession and subsequent yellow card were a killer blow for Madrid, but Geyse Ferreira will have been disappointed with her Barca performance. The Brazilian forward was given the nod up top by Giraldez but failed to make an impression, finding herself isolated for the most part or straying into offside positions. Geyse was booked for a poor challenge on Ivana Andres before being hooked shortly after, and Barca's attack seemed to benefit from the change.
MATCH IN THREE PHOTOS:Getty ImagesGetty ImagesGetty Images
WHAT NEXT? Barcelona march on. Twenty-three consecutive league wins is an unbelievable achievement, and there are many more wins likely to come before the end of the campaign. Giraldez's side are in European action next, hosting Roma in their UWCL quarter-final matchup on Wednesday.
MATCH RATING (OUT OF FIVE): ⭐⭐