Women’s Worldwide Round-Up: Barcelona rise to a midweek challenge

As the German and Spanish leagues halt for an international break, Martin Whiteley recaps all the action from the last weekend of play. Domestic football returns in France on 14th March, and in Germany and Spain on 21st March.

Twist in race for second Champions League place saw Frauen-Bundesliga leaders stretch advantage

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Leaders Wolfsburg moved to 46 points and extended their league unbeaten streak to 16 games with a 6-0 win on the road against USV Jena. Zsanett Jakabfi netted a hat-trick and Ewa Pajor bagged a brace. The defeat for the hosts was their fourth straight loss in league play, and leaves them at the foot of the table with just two points to their name.

A late goal by Danica Wu saw MSV Duisburg manage a 2-2 draw at home to second-in-the-table Bayern Munich. Positively, the draw for the visitors did allow them to extend their unbeaten run in league play to 10 games. The down side is that the team from Bavaria now finds itself eight points behind the leaders with games running out. With this point, Duisburg remained just outside the relegation places on nine points.

After back-to-back losses, Hoffenheim found that winning feeling once more at home to Freiburg. The third-place team achieved a 4-1 triumph to move onto 37 points and once again close the gap between them and Bayern Munich in their fight for the final European spot.

In the opening game of the round, fourth-place SGS Essen travelled to face Turbine Potsdam, who started the weekend one place and four points behind their opponents. Essen had won the earlier meeting in the season 2-0, but on this occasion, it was Turbine who claimed the spoils to move onto 27 points. A solitary strike from Małgorzata Mesjasz in the 73rd minute was the decisive moment in the game.

FFC Frankfurt stayed sixth — level on points with Turbine Potsdam — after a 4-1 victory at Cologne. The reversal for the home side was their fourth on the spin and ninth in their last 10 league outings, to keep them second from bottom of the table on seven points.

Apart from a couple of rescheduled games from earlier postponements, the Frauen-Bundesliga now takes a break until the last weekend of March. This is to allow for international games and the last eight of the DFB-Pokal Frauen Cup to be played.

Top four in Spain all win going into international break

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Despite being forced to play an extra 30-minutes in midweek to make the Copa de la Reina last four, Barcelona brushed that aside to extend their league unbeaten run to 21 games. The Primera División Femenina leaders had been pushed all the way by Deportivo de La Coruña in their cup contest on home soil before they managed to advance 1-0. The key quality of any team competing for silverware on multiple fronts is their ability to rise quickly to the next challenge that faces them. The side from Catalonia did just that, as they recorded their fourth straight league win with a 5-0 success at home to Madrid. They move onto 59 points, helped by Jenni Hermoso’s hat-trick. The loss for the visitors was their second straight in the league to keep them on 19 points. In what was a bad week for Madrid, they also suffered a 3-0 defeat at home to Sevilla in the cup on Wednesday.

Ludmila scored a brace as second in the table Atlético Madrid stayed nine points behind the leaders, after a 3-0 win at home to Real Sociedad. Toni Duggan was named in the starting line-up for the hosts as they stretched their unbeaten streak in league play to 18 matches. Real Sociedad remain sixth with 33 points after this reversal.

In the opening game of the round, third-place Levante gained back-to-back wins to move to 45 points after a 2-0 success away to Sevilla.

Deportivo de La Coruña bounced back from their narrow cup loss to make it three league games unbeaten after a dramatic win away to Tacón. Trailing 3-0 with less than 10 minutes to play, Deportivo found the net four times to snatch the three points. Michelle Romero scored a brace for the fourth-place side to advance them onto 37 points.

Fifth-place Athletic Bilbao fell two points behind Deportivo de La Coruña after being held to a scoreless draw by bottom-of-the-table side Espanyol. With this stalemate, the hosts were able to stretch their league unbeaten run to five games — but their last two contests have now only gained them two points. Athletic Bilbao did have better success in midweek when they progressed in the cup thanks to a 2-1 home win against Tacón. The draw for Espanyol ended their league losing run at four games and moved them onto five points.

Logroño won 1-0 at home in the cup against Real Betis, but could not build on that success to gain their first league success in four attempts. Leading 1-0 away to Sporting de Huelva, it looked like the seventh-place club might be on track to take maximum points. But the hosts managed to grab an equaliser through Sandra Castelló in the 85th minute. The draw for Logroño saw them advance onto 29 points. Sporting were able to move out of the relegation places as they gained their 18th point.

Rayo Vallecano missed the chance to jump Logroño after they lost at home to Real Betis to stay in eighth place on 28 points. The 2-0 win for the away team extended their league unbeaten run to five games and moved them up to 12th spot with 20 points

Play in the Primera División Femenina returns in three weeks.

Follow Martin on Twitter @673martin

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