The Spanish Super Cup was over before it began. Facing last year’s champion in the competition, the Barcelona Femení dominated Real Sociedad from start to finish. Goals from Marta Torrejón and Alexia within the first ten minutes gave the match the feeling that it was over when it had hardly begun.
Torrejón’s connection with Caroline Graham Hansen was on full display as the Norweigan winger’s dynamism cutting in towards goal was too much for La Real’s defenders; and Torrejón reaped the benefits. She scored in the 5th, 33rd, 56th and 78th minute to make it four on the day and earn herself the Player of the Match award. Alexia Putellas and Asisat Oshoala both got two, while Hansen and Candela Andújar both added one.
Lluís Cortés side is passing all the tests that they struggled with last season. Certainly the permanent purchase of Oshoala, arrival of Hansen, and return of Jenni Hermoso are three of the catalysts. Goals can come from anywhere at the Estadi Johan Cryuff. If not Oshoala or Hermoso, it can be Mariona Caldentey, Aitana Bonmatí, Alexia, or Patri Guijarro.
It’s pretty incredible to note that Lieke Martens, who has been dealing with injuries this season, has not yet scored in the league. The Dutch attacker is capable of moments of magic, and it is a testament to Barcelona’s depth that she has been allowed to take a supportive role this season as she gets back to her best.
Cortés has had the Midas touch with his line-ups so often this season, but the spring is where the challenges will really begin. Barcelona still have a fateful Champions League Quarterfinal match-up against Atlético Madrid at the end of March and the beginning of April to contend with. Remember, this is the side that just battled the Barça Femení to a 0-0 stalemate after getting blown off the pitch 6-1 earlier in the season. Yet, Barcelona still sit atop the league table and while they cannot rest on having the better team, they should be the favorites to advance.
Having lost four consecutive leagues, Cortés knows the job isn’t done yet in Spain and the heightened expectations of the Champions League are part of the equation as well. Sometimes fear can help give the favorite the advantage; and the 10-1 demolishing of Real Sociedad should help with that advantage.