An all-German UEFA Champions League semi-final is now set in stone. Following high-scoring victories in their respective quarter-final first legs, reigning champions VfL Wolfsburg and Turbine Potsdam both won at the weekend to progress into the last four. For their part, German league leaders Frankfurt suffered a slight setback, Brescia maintained their lead in Italy and the second matchday of the new season took place in Finland.
Germany: Frankfurt slip up, Bayern Munich win
League leaders 1. FFC Frankfurt might have expected to beat Bayer Leverkusen on matchday 15 of the current Bundesliga campaign, but coach Colin Bell’s team missed the opportunity to pick up the all-important three points. The women from Hesse were forced to settle for a solitary point after being held to a goalless draw by a resolute Leverkusen side. Title rivals Turbine Potsdam will leapfrog Frankfurt into top spot if they win their game in hand against relegation battlers Hoffenheim on 13 April.
Bayern Munich picked up three more points on matchday 15, the Bundesliga’s fourth-placed side scoring a penalty in the closing stages of their away match at BV Cloppenburg to win 2-1. Lena Lotzen and Vanessa Bernauer had scored for their respective sides before the Bavarians converted their spot-kick with just minutes left on the clock. USV Jena strolled to a 6-1 victory over SGS Essen, who dropped down into ninth place in the table.
The top three: FFC Frankfurt (37 points), Turbine Potsdam (35), VfL Wolfsburg (31)
Finland: Merilappi and Turun begin new season in style
The season in the Finnish Naisten Liiga might be only two games old, but Merilappi United and Turun Palloseura (TPS) have made a flying start to the new domestic campaign. Both teams kicked off the new season with 4-2 victories on 22 March (TPS against Helsingin Jalkapalloklubi and Merilappi against Nice Futis) and both teams also scored four goals in their respective encounters a week later, TPS registering a 4-1 win against Nice Futis and Merilappi securing a 4-0 victory over Kokkola Futis 10.
The top three: Merilappi United, Turun Palloseura (both on 6), Pallokissat Kuopio (4)
Italy: Brescia maintain lead at the top
Brescia’s lead at the Serie A summit is not quite as clear-cut as it seems. The club might have occupied top spot since matchday 25, but title challengers Tavagnacco and Torres Calcio have played fewer games so far this season. Brescia’s 3-0 victory over ASD Mozzanica kept the club six points clear of Tavagnacco, who beat ACFD Graphistudio Pordenone 1-0, and eleven points clear of third-placed Torres Calcio. But Torres’ participation in this season’s Champions League means they have three games in hand on the league leaders, who have also played one match more than second-placed Tavagnacco.
The top three: ACF Brescia (72), UPC Tavagnacco (66), Torres Calcio Sassari (61)
Champions League: German semi-final set in stone
The all-German Champions League semi-final is now set in stone after Turbine Potsdam and VfL Wolfsburg both booked their places in the last four. Following an 8-0 victory on 23 March, coach Bernd Schroder’s team beat reigning Italian champions Torres Calcio 4-1 in the return leg on Sunday to secure a 12-1 aggregate triumph. Current holders VfL Wolfsburg also won their quarter-final tie, beating Spanish side Barcelona 5-0 on aggregate.
After an 8-1 victory over Austrian outfit Neulengbach in the first leg, a goalless draw was enough to take Swedish side Tyreso FF into the semi-finals. Marta and co. will face Birmingham City in the last four, the Midlands club having overcome Arsenal LFC 3-0 on aggregate in an all-English quarter-final. The semi-finals will be played on 19 and 26 April, with the final taking place in Lisbon on 22 May.