Women's Football

Beleza crowned as Bayern, Melbourne City lay down markers

NTV Beleza celebrate winning the 2015 Nadeshiko League
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While the picture has become clearer in Spain and Australia, while the holders in France and Germany both registered key wins over direct rivals. *FIFA.com *gives you the lowdown on the movers and shakers in women's leagues across the world. 

France: Perfect Lyon put Juvisy to the sword
No one in France ever takes a meeting with Juvisy lightly. The club originally hailing from Juvisy-sur-Orge, a small city on the southern outskirts of Paris, remains the second most successful in Division 1 Feminine history, with five titles – behind only nine-time winners, reigning champions and current league leaders Lyon, with whom they happened to lock horns this weekend. However, L'OL *had never lost against their fourth-placed opponents and did not take their eyes off the ball on this occasion, chalking up a 2-0 victory courtesy of Corine Petit-Franco and Camille Abily to extend their 100 per cent start to the season to eight games. Elsewhere, Montpellier and Paris Saint-Germain kept within striking distance thanks to respective 4-0 and 3-0 wins over Rodez and Saint-Etienne.
*Top three: Lyon (32 points), Montpellier (30), Paris Saint-Germain (27)

Spain: Huelva halt Barcelona
Spain's four-strong leading pack is no more. A week ago, Atletico Madrid, Athletic Bilbao, Barça and Real Sociedad all stood atop the pile, unbeaten and with an identical record: five wins and a draw. The Rojiblancas *kept up their fine run on Sunday by downing Sociedad 2-1 in the capital, making it five victories on the bounce in the process. The Bilbao giants, meanwhile, enjoyed a 5-1 rout of Albacete. Last, but by no means least, Barcelona was the venue for the biggest shock of the weekend, where the locals were held to a 1-1 stalemate by Huelva.
*Top three: Atletico Madrid (19 points
), Athletic Bilbao (19), Barcelona (17)

Germany: The 'other' Lewandowski makes her mark
Bayern Munich's strong defence of their title continues, as the Bavarians prevailed 1-0 away to UEFA Women's Champions League holders 1. FFC Frankfurt in the marquee match of the Frauen-Bundesliga's seventh round, under the watchful eye of Germany coach Silvia Neid. Gina Lewandowski bagged the only goal of the encounter against the side she represented from 2007 to 2012. Contrary to what you might think, the match-winner is in no way related to namesake Robert, the star striker for the Bayern men's team. The 30-year-old defender went into the game buoyed by having earned her first cap for her native USA last week and her strike put the champions six points clear. The chasing pack is currently headed by Wolfsburg, who rose back to second place with a 2-0 triumph away to Bayer Leverkusen.
Top four: Bayern Munich (19 points), VfL Wolfsburg (13), SC Sand (13)

Australia: Melbourne City keep marching on
Everything Melbourne City have touched has turned to gold and goals at the beginning of the new W-League season. Their most recent result, the 4-0 triumph away to premiers Perth Glory, served notice that they are a real force to be reckoned with, and they are sitting pretty at the summit with maximum points from three matches. Below them, Brisbane Roar came unstuck 2-1 at home to Adelaide United, a defeat that leaves them still in second, but three points off the pacesetters. At the other end of the table, Western Sydney Wanderers and Melbourne Victory are still looking for a first win: the former have a solitary point to their name, while the latter have yet to get off the mark.
Top three: Melbourne City (9 points), Brisbane Roar (6), Adelaide United (4)

*Beleza end long wait *NTV Beleza, Japan’s most successful club, have ended a five-year championship drought after claiming their 14th title. The Tokyo-based side defeated JEF United 2-0 at home and now have an unassailable six-point lead with a single round of the Championship Series remaining. Their nearest challengers remain Vegalta Sendai and Albirex Niigata, with the latter coming from 4-1 down at half-time as the pair shared the spoils in an eight-goal thriller. INAC Kobe Leonessa now hold a joint share of second after their all-star side saw off last season's champions Urawa Red Diamonds 3-0 at home in front of nearly 5,000 spectators.
Top three: NTV Beleza (15 points – Championship series), Vegalta Sendai, Albirex Niigata, INAC Kobe Leonessa (all 9)

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