Women's Football

Tight contests and strong interest in Europe

Noelle Maritz, Caroline Graham Hansen of Wolfsburg
© Getty Images

FIFA.com’s weekly wrap of women’s club football primarily looks at the latest UEFA Women’s Champions League action, where fascinating match-ups and big crowds proved the theme. There is also the latest from Germany where some stunning results took the headlines, plus the latest from Australia and Russia.

*UEFA Women’s Champions League: Tough contests and large attendances *The Round of 16 commenced last Wednesday with numerous well-matched contests, in contrast to some previous years where lopsided scorelines have been prevalent. Holders Frankfurt, Wolfsburg, Lyon and Barcelona all won away, but two goals was the highest victory margin. Arguably the tie of the night took place in London where English champions Chelsea lost 2-1 at home to two-time continental queens Wolfsburg, thanks to a late winner from Caroline Hansen. Compatriots Frankfurt saw off Norway champions LSK Kvinner with goals either side of the interval. Lyon won 3-1 at Atletico Madrid as Ada Hegerberg nabbed a double, while Paris Saint-Germain earned a 1-1 draw at Sweden’s Orebro. PSG striker Anja Mittag scored her 49th goal in Europe taking outright hold of the record from fellow German Conny Pohlers.

Arguably the upset of the round was Brescia’s 1-0 home victory over Denmark’s Fortuna Hjorring, where Daniela Sabatino's early strike proved the difference. The matchday was also marked by strong attendance figures, most notably at the home of Netherlands’ side Twente where 15,000 were on hand to see the locals lose 1-0 against Barcelona. There were also club record crowds for both Orebro and Atletico. Thursday’s action saw Brazil superstar Marta net her 43rd continental goal to help Rosengard to a 3-1 win at Verona, while Czech Republic representatives Slavia Prague defeated 2009 finalists Zvezda 2-1.

*Germany: Pain continues for big two *The traditional elite continue to suffer in Germany with struggling Turbine Potsdam failing 1-0 at home to Jena. But the biggest shock was that suffered by European champions FFC Frankfurt who lost 4-0 at Freiburg, where Selina Wagner netted twice. Those results allowed the top two to skip further clear at the summit. Champions Bayern Munich beat surprise packets SC Sand 2-0, while Wolfsburg outclassed Essen with four unanswered goals.
*Top three: Bayern Munich (22 points), Wolfsburg (16), SC Sand (13) *

*Australia: All-star leaders remain perfect *New club Melbourne City maintained their 100 per cent record after five matches with a 2-0 win over Adelaide United. Wales captain Jess Fishlock and W-League top-scorer Larissa Crummer scored the goals as City extended their margin at the top to eight points. Perth Glory rebounded after several winless matches to secure an important 2-0 win at Brisbane Roar and take an equal share of second. 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup winner Vanessa DiBernardo had a debut to remember scoring after just eight minutes, before adding a late sealer that will go down as a goal of the season candidate.
*Top three: Melbourne City (15), Adelaide United, Perth Glory, Western Sydney Wanderers (all 7) *

*Russia: Zvezda retain crown *
Zvezda won their fifth Russian league title and second in succession on Sunday, wrapping up a domestic double in the process. A comprehensive 5-0 home victory against Chertanovo on the final day of the season was enough to finish just two points clear of 2012 champs Rossiyanka. The Perm-based outfit now host Slavia Prague on Thursday seeking to retain their status as Russia’s last remaining representative in the UEFA Women’s Champions League.
*Top three Zvezda 2005 (37), Rossiyanka (35), Zorkiy Krasnogorsk, Ryazan (both 29) *

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