Following last week’s international action, turns its attention back to domestic matters in reviewing the latest from Germany, Japan, England and Sweden. It proved a good weekend for top clubs across the board with, notably, Arsenal and Malmo remaining on track to retain their respective league crowns.

Germany: Elite shine from the start
A full round finally took place in Germany’s new season following last week’s international break, and earlier postponements due to player absence at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Japan 2012. And the early signs are that last year’s top teams will continue to set the standard this term. Turbine Potsdam are the early pacesetters with six points from their two starts, including an impressive 4-0 demolition of Duisburg at the weekend. Traditional rivals 1.FFC Frankfurt, having played an extra match, are behind on goal difference despite a 4-2 victory over Bayer Leverkusen. In close pursuit are Bayern Munich and Wolfsburg who were comfortable winners over USV Jena and Sindelfingen respectively, in what was their opening matches of the campaign.
Top three: Turbine Potsdam (6 points), FFC Frankfurt (6), Wolfsburg, Bayern Munich, SC Freiburg, FSV Gutersloh, SGS Essen, SC 07 Bad Neuenahr (all 3)

Japan: Duo drive forward
INAC Kobe Leonessa have continued their momentum following a month’s mid-season break for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. INAC were comfortable 4-0 winners over Fukuoka J. Anclas last weekend, with Shinobu Ohno twice on the scoresheet, to follow on from a 6-0 triumph against Sperenza Osaka in their first match after the summer interval. Second-placed NTV Beleza continued their hunt of top spot by downing AS Elfen Sayama 3-0. Beleza, however, trumped their rivals earlier in the month, by winning the Nadeshiko League Cup for the third straight time, edging INAC Kobe 3-2 in front of over 7,000 fans.
Top three: INAC Leonessa Kobe (31 points), NTV Beleza (26), Okayama Belle Yunogo (25)

England: Gunners shoot for glory
It was a similar story in England to that in the Far East with the top three teams all winning, defeating teams from the bottom half of the eight-team FA Women’s Super League title. Most notably, Arsenal defeated Liverpool 4-1, thanks to doubles from Ellen White and Katie Chapman, with the Gunners now just a point from the title, and two matches shy of an undefeated league season. Second-placed Birmingham City were 2-0 victors at Doncaster Rovers Belles and must hope results go their way in this weekend’s penultimate round, ahead of a final-day showdown with Arsenal.
Top three: Arsenal (30 points), Birmingham City (24), Everton (22)

Sweden: Champions roll on
Leaders LdB Malmo heaped pressure on rivals Tyreso FF with an important, albeit narrow, 3-2 win over Vittsjo. Swiss star Ramona Bachmann scored a double, but the champions needed a late winner from the league’s leading scorer, prolific German striker Anja Mittag, to secure all three points. Marta and Co will attempt to trim into Malmo’s five point margin when they visit AIK on Tuesday. With five rounds remaining the pair, who are currently on lengthy winning streaks, have the two UEFA Women’s Champions League berths effectively sewn up already.
Top three: LdB Malmo (45) points, Tyreso FF (40), Kopparbergs/Gothenburg, Vittsjo (both 29)