Wolfsburg and INAC Kobe Leonessa – champions of Germany and Japan respectively – bounced back to form in emphatic fashion amid a flurry of goals over the weekend. FIFA.com’s weekly review of club action also looks at the latest from the still-fledgling Belgium/Netherlands league, plus cup success has eased some of Arsenal’s pain.
Germany: Bayern, Turbine hold form
Champions Wolfsburg have returned to form after a sluggish start to their title defence, but it is in-form Turbine Potsdam and Bayern Munich hanging onto the headlines. The pair both earned a third win from four starts to maintain their joint hold on top spot. Turbine has their nose in front on goal difference, but they were pushed all the way by newly-promoted Hoffenheim before prevailing 3-2. Bayern had a simpler task in disposing of Cloppenburg 5-2, with American midfielder Amber Brooks helping herself to a brace. Frankfurt were held 2-2 by the visiting Bayer Leverkusen which allowed Wolfsburg to slip into third on the back of their one-sided 4-0 win at Duisburg.
Top three: Turbine Potsdam, Bayern Munich (both 10 points), Wolfsburg, Frankfurt (both 8)
Japan: Champs bounce back
Reigning queens INAC Kobe Leonessa returned to the winner’s circle following their shock home defeat against Okayama Belle Yunogo, by claiming a 4-2 win at Iga Kunoichi. However, the champions needed to overcome an early 2-0 deficit before prevailing in Iga. Though four rounds still remain, Leonessa could claim their third successive title next weekend having stretched their lead over perennial challengers NTV Beleza to ten points. Beleza crashed 3-0 at Okayama as the League Cup runners-up secured their second major scalp within a week on the back of Saori Arimachi’s double.
Top three: INAC Kobe Leonessa (36), NTV Beleza (26), Iga Kunoichi (24)
Belgium/Netherlands: Heerenveen and teenage ace among the goals
The second season of the Be/Ne league – a 15-team competition featuring clubs from Belgium and the Netherlands – is in full swing with five rounds already played, including two over the past week. Heerenveen are the only team with a 100 per cent record and the frontrunners most recently recorded consecutive 4-0 wins over Gent and Club Brugge. Heerenveen striker Vivianne Miedema starred with hat-tricks in both matches and the 17-year-old ace has, unsurprisingly, a lone hold on top spot in the goalcorers list. Maiden champions FC Twente sit a point off the pace with Den Haag and PSV/FC Eindhoven making for a quartet of Dutch teams at the summit.
Top three: Heerenveen (15), FC Twente (14), Den Haag and PSV/FC Eindhoven (both 12)
England: Gunners fire back
Arsenal gained a measure of solace after recently losing their nine-year grip on the English championship by winning the FA WSL Continental Cup. The Gunners struggled to break a stoic Lincoln defence before goals in the latter stages of the final from Ellen White and prolific Scottish striker Kim Little ensured a third successive cup crown for the North Londoners.