BARCELONA (Reuters) - Barcelona dug deep after having a player sent off to beat Bayern Munich 1-0 on Sunday and reach the final of the Women’s Champions League for the first time after securing a 2-0 aggregate victory.
Barca will meet Olympique Lyonnais in the final on May 18 at the Groupama stadium in Budapest after the French side knocked out Chelsea in the other semi-final with a 3-2 aggregate win.
Barca, who had earned a 1-0 win in the first leg in Germany, broke the deadlock at the end of a hard-fought first half thanks to a penalty from Mariona Caldentey after Bayern captain Melanie Leupolz had rattled the underside of the crossbar.
The German side hemmed Barca into their half for most of the second period, with forward Sara Dabritz missing a clear chance to equalise when she failed to find the target from inside the area.
The home side came under further pressure after Kheira Hamraoui was sent off in the 70th minute and Barca keeper Sandra Panos made an impressive save to keep out a looping header from Dominika Skorvankova which looked destined for the top corner.
Bayern coach Thomas Worle was sent off for protesting a refereeing decision on the sidelines and his side soon lost momentum.
Barca should have put the result beyond doubt late in the game when they twice caught the Germans out on the counterattack but failed to find the net.
Barca’s coaching staff and substitutes invaded the pitch when the fulltime whistle sounded before doing a lap of honour of the stadium in the shadow of the Nou Camp, where the men’s team sealed the La Liga title the night before.
In Sunday’s other semi-final, defending champions Lyon were held to a 1-1 draw by Chelsea in the second leg in London but the French side advanced to the final thanks to their 2-1 win in the first leg last week.
An own goal from Maren Mjelde gave Lyon the lead in the first half but Chelsea midfielder So-yun Ji equalised when she expertly curled a free kick over the wall to find the back of the net in the 34th minute.
Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg nearly won it for Lyon towards the end when she had a chance from a few metres out, but she mistimed her shot to give Chelsea a glimmer of hope.
Chelsea needed a winner to take the tie into extra time but Lyon managed to hold on. This is the second year in a row where Chelsea have been knocked out in the semi-final stage.
Reporting by Richard Martin, additional reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis