Barcelona’s historic Women’s Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid at the Nou Camp has set a new attendance record for a women’s fixture.
The match, which proved to be an epic from start to finish and featured seven goals, will go down as an historic evening in women’s football.
It was the reigning European champions who stole the bragging rights, winning 5-2 on the night and 8-3 on aggregate.
Here’s the story of how events unfolded at the Nou Camp:
A memorable atmosphere
The previous attendance record for a women’s domestic tie came in 2019 when 60,739 watched Atletico Madrid’s game against Barcelona at the Wanda Metropolitano.
Though the game was a success, the Covid-19 pandemic stunted much of the progress that match had made up until now.
But the atmosphere inside the Camp Nou was like nothing seen from a women’s fixture before.
Just check out some of these clips:
Fans, noise and a lot of singing. pic.twitter.com/t34G2OgjKv— Anton Toloui (@SkyAnton) March 30, 2022
A game of wonder goals
The match had long been predicted to break the attendance record, but nobody could have imagined quite how fascinating the game would prove to be.
A seven-goal thriller, which produced not one, not two but three incredible goals.
After Mapi Leon scored from what looked to be an attempted cross, Olga Carmona equalised from the spot.
Then came the moment of the evening, when Claudia Zornoza scored a goal for the ages. The Spanish midfielder picked up the ball just past the halfway line, saw Sandra Panos off her line, and executed a sublime chip.
Aitana Bonmati then levelled again for the home side, before Claudia Pina unleashed an equally wonderful strike from the edge of the box.
Last year’s Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas then scored her trademark goal, before Caroline Graham-Hansen put the icing on the cake.
Barcelona continue remarkable streak
Barca’s incredible winning streak continues and the reigning Champions League winners have now won 42 matches on the bounce.
In truth, the closest they’ve come to being beaten in that time has been the two European ties against Madrid this month.
The Catalonian side have scored 138 goals in 25 league matches this year and look simply unstoppable right now.
Next up in the Champions League will be either Arsenal or Wolfsburg, though neither can really fancy their chances of toppling the Spanish giants on current evidence.
What does this mean for women’s football?
This El Clasico tie will forever be remembered as a night that transformed the attitude towards women’s football.
So much has been made about whether the women’s game could attract the same crowds as men’s fixtures and this just proved that if matches are pushed and promoted, then audiences will flock.
Even before the tie started, thousands of fans lined the streets of Barcelona, waving banners in support and waiting for the teams to arrive.
The fact the biggest stadium in world football was nearly full also gives hope that other teams around the world may follow suit and schedule women’s fixtures in these big arenas.
Barcelona women’s average attendance this season has been around 3,000, but this tie will have formed many new fans for life.
This was an historic night for Barcelona, for Real Madrid and for women’s football at the Nou Camp. And fingers crossed, it won’t be the last.