Several women's leagues around the world began 2013 with a bang, as numerous clubs picked up where they left off last year. In France, Lyon strolled to another victory, Athletic Club continue to reign in Spain, while the semi-finalists were confirmed in Australia. *FIFA.com *rounds up all the latest action from the women's game.
*France: Lyon strengthen squad *Olympique Lyon showed no signs of relinquishing their position as the top side in French women's football. In their first game after the winter break, coach Patrice Lair's charges brushed Toulouse aside 11-1. Both Lotta Schelin and Corine Franco grabbed hat-tricks, with Lara Dickenmann and Ami Otaki each netting twice and Camille Abily also among the goals.
The defending UEFA Champions League title-holders also created headlines for their off-field activities after bolstering their squad with two top-class signings. USA international and Olympic gold medalist Megan Rapinoe and Japanese world champion Shinobu Ohno will be sporting Lyon's colours from now on.
Paris Saint-Germain remain their closest challengers thanks to a 3-1 win over Montpellier. Germany international Linda Bresonik opened the scoring for PSG, with goals from Kosovare Asllani and Kenza Dali securing the victory.
The top three: Olympique Lyon (52), Paris Saint Germain (45), Juvisy FCF (41)
Spain: Athletic Club remain top
Just like Lyon in France, Athletic Club Bilbao maintained their winning streak in Spain. The 5-2 win over Transportes Alcaine was their 14th victory in 17 matches, with just two draws and one defeat. However, Atletico Madrid remain hot on the league leaders' heels after a 3-0 triumph over Sporting Huelva. The result continued their unbeaten run, with 12 wins and five draws from their 17 outings thus far. Defending champions FC Barcelona lost ground on the top two following a 2-2 draw with Rayo Vallecano.
At the opposite end of the table the situation looks increasingly bleak for SD Lagunak, who are still without a point at the bottom of the standings after defeat against RCD Espanyol de Barcelona, their 17th loss of the season.
The top three: Athletic Club (44), Atletico Madrid (41), FC Barcelona (37)
Australia: Semi-finalists confirmed
Two victories in as many games have taken Brisbane Roar to the league summit and pushed Perth Glory down into second place. A 2-0 win against Sydney FC preceded a 5-1 hammering of Canberra United, with Tameka Butt hitting a hat-trick, while Katrina Gorry and Emily Gielnik also found the net. As league leaders, Brisbane secured their place in the semi-finals and will have home advantage against Sydney in their quest for a final berth.
Perth were unable to match Brisbane's maximum haul in their last two outings, but still picked up four points. They were forced to settle for a 2-2 draw against Newcastle Jets before making amends with a 3-1 victory away at Adelaide United. A last-four encounter with Melbourne Victory now awaits, with the matches due to be played this coming weekend.
The top four: Brisbane Roar (26), Perth Glory (24), Melbourne Victory (23), Sydney FC (20)
USA: 55 internationals split between eight clubs
On Friday, the newly founded National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) announced the distribution of 55 internationals from USA, Canada and Mexico among its eight founding clubs: Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars, FC Kansas City, Portland Thorns FC, Sky Blue FC, Seattle Reign FC, Washington Spirit and Western New York Flash.
Abby Wambach, who was crowned FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year 2012 in Zurich on 7 January, will lace up her boots for Flash and play alongside international team-mate Carli Lloyd. Portland Thorns FC can look forward to seeing Alex Morgan, who was nominated alongside Wambach for the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year award, and Canadian starlet Christine Sinclair team up in attack.
"This allocation process is obviously a big step in building the foundation for this league and each of the teams will benefit from a group of very talented players," said NWSL Executive Director Cheryl Bailey. "It's always a difficult process, but we believe there was a fair distribution of talent across all eight teams," she added.