Women’s Champions League: Leading teams show prowess to reach last eight

Martin Whiteley looks back at the round-of-16 action in the Women’s Champions League. 

Embed from Getty Images

Champions Lyon breezed past Fortuna Hjørring of Denmark 11-0 on aggregate. After equalling the total of Anja Mittag in the first leg, it did not take Ada Hegerberg long to move clear at the top of the all-time list for goals scored in UEFA women’s club competitions. Number 52 came in the 12th minute —  in just her 50th European game — before the Norwegian added a second just after the interval as Lyon won 7-0 on home soil. Team-mate Eugénie Le Sommer also moved up the scoring list to tie Marta for fourth-place when she netted her 46th European goal in the first half. Lucy Bronze was the only English player to start, but Nikita Parris did come off the bench to score the final Lyon goal in second-half stoppage time. The third Lioness in the matchday squad was Alex Greenwood who was an unused substitute.

There was more French success as PSG booked their place in the next round. With home advantage the current Feminine Division 1 leaders got the better of Breidablik from Iceland 3-1, to run out 7-1 winners on aggregate.

Germany also have two representatives as both Wolfburg and Bayern Munich coasted through after dominating first-leg performances.

Join the Conversation - Twitter - @offsiderulepod

Up 6-0 from the first contest in Germany Wolfsburg managed only one goal — Anna Blässe in the 17th minute — in the return game in the Netherlands against Twente. The Frauen-Bundesliga leaders did have an opportunity to double their lead in the second half from the penalty spot. A handball from Twente defender Danique Ypema saw her receive a straight red card, but goalkeeper Daphne Van Domselaar was able to save the spot-kick from substitute Sara Gunnarsdóttir. 

Bayern Munich won 2-0 at home against BIIK-Kazygurt of Kazakhstan to also advance 7-0 on aggregate.

Spain were the final nation to see both of their teams make progress, but as one sailed through the other was made to work right up to the end.

Despite a heavy defeat against Barcelona in Spain, Minsk were able to take the lead when the teams reconvened in Belarus. Emueje Ogbiagbevha with the goal for the home side on the hour mark. That bit of joy was short-lived as the Primera División Femenina leaders replied with three goals of their own to record a straightforward 8-1 aggregate success.

Embed from Getty Images

The real drama was back in Spain as Atlético Madrid faced Manchester City. A late goal in the first leg had not only given Atlético a share of the spoils, but also a vital away goal. With the Spanish side looking to dispose of their opponents for the second year in a row in this competition, a goal in each half of the second leg seemed to have them set fair. Over the years the away goals rule has produced many a tight finish and this game would soon be added to that list. Pauline Bremer — an 83rd-minute substitute — found the net for City just five minutes after entering the action to give them an away goal. The English side now knew another goal wound send them through. Despite the late drama, Atlético Madrid — with former City player Toni Duggan in their starting line-up —  were able to see out time for a narrow 3-2 win on aggregate and advance to the last eight for the first time. 

Although not from the same country two British teams are still going strong despite coming into this round unseeded. As with the Spanish teams they both had very different experiences to achieve success.

Coming off a 5-2 win away to Slavia Prague in the first leg Arsenal added another eight goals on home soil without reply. After the four goals Vivianne Miedema scored in the Czech Republic, the Dutch forward bagged another hat-trick, as did her international team-mate Daniëlle van de Donk. 

Embed from Getty Images

After losing the first leg against Glasgow City at home 2-0, Brøndby bounced back with two goals in the first half of the game in Scotland, to get the aggregate score back level. With no further scoring through extra-time, the tie came down to the lottery of penalties. Both teams scored their opening attempts, but then the two goalkeepers came to the fore as five of the next six spot-kicks were saved. The only success during that time had been late Glasgow City substitute Eilish McSorley and it was left to her team-mate Jo Love to convert the winning kick to secure a 3-1 victory in the shootout. 

The quarter-final/semi-final draw is scheduled for 8 November, with the last-eight first-leg ties due to take place on 24/25 March. 

Follow Martin on Twitter at @673martin

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: