VfL Wolfsburg took a major step towards the defence of their UEFA Champions League title on Sunday and are on course for an all-German semi-final showdown against Turbine Potsdam. Meanwhile, Olympique Lyon returned to the top of the table in France and the game of musical chairs at the Serie A summit continued. FIFA.com reviews the week’s events.
*Germany: Business as usual for Frankfurt *1. FFC Frankfurt gave a clear demonstration of their title credentials on matchday 14 of this season’s Bundesliga campaign, the women from Hesse playing at the top of their game to beat newly-promoted side BV Cloppenburg 7-0. Kozue Ando and Celia Sasic each grabbed a brace for Frankfurt, the home side’s other goals coming from Kerstin Garefrekes, Simone Laudehr and Melanie Behringer. Turbine Potsdam and VfL Wolfsburg, who both featured in the Champions League quarter-finals at the weekend, also won their respective matches on Wednesday. The Wolves cruised to a 7-0 away victory at VfL Sindelfingen while Potsdam’s ladies beat MSV Duisburg 4-0.
SC Freiburg’s 2-2 draw against FF USV Jena moved the club down to tenth place in the table after newly-promoted side 1899 Hoffenheim beat Bayer Leverkusen 5-3 in a thrilling encounter in Baden-Wurttemberg. FC Bayern Munich’s women defeated SGS Essen 3-0 in Bavaria to keep the pressure on the top three.
The top three: FFC Frankfurt (36 points), Turbine Potsdam (35), VfL Wolfsburg (31)
*France: Lyon leapfrog PSG into first *Olympique Lyon sent out a statement of intent to their title rivals by returning to the top of the French Division 1. Head coach Patrice Lair’s star-studded side narrowly beat Yzeure Allier 1-0 on matchday 18 to leapfrog Paris Saint-Germain into first place after the capital club’s goalless draw against Saint-Etienne. Elise Bussaglia scored the goal for the new league leaders.
Failure to beat PSG left Saint-Etienne in the drop zone after Arras secured a 1-0 win over fellow relegation battlers Rodez to move up into eighth place. The next fixtures in the French top flight will be played on 19/20 April, with European qualifiers for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015™ in Canada scheduled to take place at the start of the month.
The top three: Olympique Lyon (65), Paris Saint-Germain (64), Juvisy FCF (59)
*Italy: Change at the top *The game of musical chairs at the Serie A summit continued last week after Brescia beat Tavagnacco 2-0 on Wednesday and Fimauto Valpolicella 4-1 on Saturday to move six points clear at the top of the table. Daniela Sabatino scored both goals in her side’s defeat of Tavagnacco and played a decisive role three days later when she, Valentina Cernoia, Cristiana Girelli and Barbara Bonansea all scored to secure a second consecutive victory for coach Milena Bertolini’s side. The club are now in pole position in the Italian title race.
The top three: ACF Brescia (69), UPC Tavagnacco (63), Torres Calcio Sassari (61)
*Champions League: Potsdam and Wolfsburg on course for semi-final showdown *The stage appears to be set for an all-German semi-final in this season’s UEFA Women’s Champions League. Reigning champions VfL Wolfsburg made the most of home advantage to beat Barcelona by a comprehensive 3-0 scoreline in the first leg of their quarter final-tie, putting the club in a strong position ahead of the return match in Spain on 30 March. Nadine Kessler, Martina Muller and Zsanett Jakabfi scored the goals for VfL.
Meanwhile, Turbine Potsdam turned on the style to beat ASD Torres Calcio at the Stadio Vanni Sanna in Sassari. The second-placed side in the Bundesliga strolled to an 8-0 victory over the Italian champions, a result which all-but secures their place in the last four of Europe’s elite club competition. An own goal from Linda Tucceri Cimini opened the scoring in the first leg, with Julia Simic (2), Lisa Walti, Pauline Bremer, Genoveva Anonma, Johanna Elsig and Lisa Evans all adding their names to the scoresheet.
The third match on Sunday between Swedish club Tyreso FF and Austrian side Neulengbach ended 8-1, with five-time FIFA Women’s Player of the Year Marta scoring a hat-trick for the home team.