Barcelona will take a narrow aggregate lead into next week’s Women’s Champions League quarter-final second leg against Roma at Camp Nou following what turned into a too close for comfort opening game in the Italian capital on Tuesday night.
Salma Paralluelo’s first Champions League goal was the overall difference, but Barça were guilty of squandering chances to put the tie to bed, before Roma threatened a late comeback.
Mapi Leon had the first sight of goal for the Catalans around 10 minutes, taking up position on the edge of the box and sweeping a sweet left-footed that rippled the net just the wrong side of the post.
Asisat Oshoala, who actually lacked direct service in the first half, side-footed the ball towards the bottom corner only to see the sprawling Ceasar claw it away just in time.
She kept the ball in, driving in-field and pulling back to Valentina Giacinti, whose close-range shot was desperately deflected over by Leon.
Having kept it to 1-0 and managing to create some openings, Roma started to take a few more risks in the final quarter of the contest It had some benefit and Haavi perhaps should have done better with a good chance on the left, firing low at Sandra Panos.
There were gasps around Stadio Olimpico towards the end when Andressa Alves put a gilt-edged chance wide of the post, while it needed the hands of Panos to tip Manuela Giugliano’s swerving shot over the crossbar.