Germany’s storybook run-in continued as the top four again won, leaving open the prospect of Turbine Potsdam and FFC Frankfurt’s long-term title dominance coming to an end. A record crowd turned out as Arsenal made an appearance at Emirates Stadium, and, at the same time, underlined their title credentials. Meanwhile, FIFA.com also examines the latest from Sweden and Japan, where the respective league seasons are still in their infancy.
Germany: Tense four-way struggle continues
VFL Wolfsburg’s push for an unlikely title continues unabated, albeit with a hard-fought victory over reinvigorated bottom side Bayer Leverkusen. Conny Pohlers set the Lower Saxony club on their way with her 18th of the season – the goal lifting the veteran striker one clear of Anonman at the top of the scorers chart – before a second from Hungarian international Zsanett Jakabfi shored up a 2-1 win. FCR Duisburg remain second with a 2-0 victory over Bad Neuenahr with goals in either half from Linda Bresonik and Alexandra Popp. Turbine Potsdam took some time to get into gear before overpowering German Cup finalists Bayern Munich 3-0 with two goals in the final quarter-hour. FFC Frankfurt sit three points from the summit after a 7-0 rout of SC Freiburg; Switzerland striker Ana Crnogorcevic claiming the weekend goalscoring honours with a first-half treble.
Potsdam, winners of the last three league championships, face a crucial midweek catch-up match against Bad Neuenahr, with a win enough to overhaul Wolfsburg at the top. Regardless of the result, Wolfsburg have reason to be optimistic about breaking the 12-year hegemony of Potsdam-FFC Frankfurt with the champions facing a tough draw over the final two weeks of the season.
Top three: Wolfsburg (46 points), Duisburg (45), Turbine Potsdam (44)
England: Gunners fire in the wet
Wet weather means there has been little action in England over the past week, but the one game to take the field as scheduled proved to be a milestone fixture in the short history of the FA Women’s Super League. A record crowd of just over 5,000 turned up at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium for the visit of London and championship rivals Chelsea. And it was the home side that reinforced their claims for successive titles with a convincing 3-1 win over then first-placed Chelsea. Scottish striker Kim Little scored two goals and former Chicago Red Stars midfielder Katie Chapman bagged the other, following a scoreless first half. The pair were due to meet three days later in the FA Women's Cup semi-final - with the winner to face Birmingham City – only for the match, along with three Super League fixtures, to be a victim of the weather.
Top three: Arsenal (6 points), Lincoln (4), Chelsea (4)
Japan: Trio out fast
Three teams remain perfect after three rounds of the Nadeshiko League season with familiar duo, INAC Kobe Leonessa and NTV Beleza, joined by Okayama Belle Yunogo. Beleza recorded the most impressive scoreline of the weekend with Asano Nagasato continuing her early season goalscoring form with a double in their 4-0 win over JEF United. Leonessa had a surprisingly tough time before subduing bottom side AS Elfen Sayama 3-2 with the champions pushed until the final whistle. Okayama, for their part, were rarely troubled in securing a 3-0 win against Albirex Niigata, although they still trail their two rivals who have already notched a hefty goal difference.
Top three: INAC Leonessa, NTV Beleza, Okayama Belle Yunogo (all 9 points)
Sweden: Marta & Co bounce back
A star-studded Tyreso recovered in style from their shock defeat against Linkopings to move top with two crucial victories over the past week. Tyreso scored a 2-0 midweek win over reigning champions and UEFA Women’s Champions League quarter-finalists Malmo, in a result that could still resonate come season’s end. Tyreso’s Brazilian duo of Elaine and Marta did the damage with second-half goals. The Stockholm club then followed that up with a 3-1 victory on the road against Jitex. Kopparbergs/Gothenburg and Vittsjo have an equal foothold at the summit, while seven-time champions Umea can take outright top if they can see off Malmo in what promises to be an epic midweek contest.
Top three: Tyreso, Kopparbergs/Gothenburg, Vittsjo (all 9 points)