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Barcelona suffer Champions League nightmare in Bristol

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Barcelona ladies suffered a Champions League upset at the hands of Bristol Academy at Ashton Gate last night (Thursday), losing 2-1 on aggregate to the WSL side.

The Spanish giants might not be the same force as their male counterparts, but they were still heavy favourites going into the two-legged last 16 encounter.

First leg heroics

However, Dave Edmondson's side produced some heroics in the opening encounter, winning 1-0 at Mini Estadi thanks to a Marta Corredera own goal. That ended a 55-game unbeaten home run for Barca.

Four days later, Bristol were able to follow it up with a battling draw in-front of a record crowd of 2,457, with Nikki Watts converting a late penalty to equalise on the night and send her side through to the quarter-finals. Vicky Losada had given Barca the lead with a deflected first-half effort.

The draw for the last eight and semi-finals takes place next week, with holders Wolfsburg and three-times winners Frankfurt among those in the hat. Glasgow City and Paris Saint-Germain are also in the mix.

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Goalscorer Watts was understandably in high spirits following the victory, giving credit to the team as a whole for the way they defended over 180 minutes against one of European football's powerhouses.

"It's unbelievable, really. All credit to the girls, we've defended really well for two whole games, 180 minutes," she told the official FIFA website.

"With the commitment we showed and the effort, I think we deserved to win in the end."

"There was a bit of a delay [with the penalty] and just before I went to take it the ball rolled a little bit as well and I thought to myself, 'Shall I replace it?' And I thought, 'No, she's kept me waiting long enough, I'm going to have to hit it.' And thankfully it went in."

Edmonson's pride

Manager Edmonson echoed the sentiments of the aggregate match-winner, revealing his pride in a team that only finished seventh in this season's Women's Super League.

"I'm just proud of the girls and the efforts they made. To be able to turn it round in that second half the way we did and the commitment they've shown throughout ... It was a really tough game," he said.

"In both legs Barcelona have been outstanding to be honest. And I think people will look at that and think: 'Bristol aren't a bad side either.'"

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