From Bayern’s change of approach to Williamson’s importance at Arsenal: five things we’ve learned from the Women’s Champions League
This week’s Women’s Champions League action produced the intriguing oddity of the game where the teams faced off for the second week in a row resulting in some very interesting scores.
Two teams scored their first victories, Chelsea almost suffered a goalless draw against Switzerland’s Servette, while there were again three heavyweight clashes: Real Madrid v PSG, Bayern Munich v Lyon and Wolfsburg v Juventus .
Here are five things we learned from Day 4 of UWCL …
Fridolina Rolfo is an incredible striker
When Barcelona signed Fridolina Rolfo this summer, a few eyebrows rose.
It is not because she does not have the quality to play for the European champions, there is no doubt. It was more about where she would fit into this Barca squad.
After shining for Sweden on the left wing by winning silver at the Olympics, she joined a team that already had two excellent players in this position: Lieke Martens and Mariona Caldentey, both classified this year. GOAL50.
As a result, Rolfo often found herself playing left-back but on Wednesday against Hoffenheim she got the chance to play more forward and proved to be the star of the show, registering two assists in a 5-0 victory.
Barcelona may be well supplied in attack, but there is no doubt that Rolfo and his team benefit when deployed in his preferred position.
Bayern can compete with Europe’s best – whenever they want
Last week, in the reverse match with Lyon, Bayern Munich were much more conservative than one would expect from the German champions, who reached the last four of the Champions League. last season.
The fact that their first meeting was away from home clearly influenced the Bavarians’ cautious game plan, but some were disappointed to see them playing with less adventure than usual, given the enormous quality of the game. Bayern and Lyon’s defensive problems.
In Munich, however, Bayern’s tactics were much more positive. They had more ball, they posed more problems for the seven-time European champions and, above all, they got three big points.
After what some have called a lucky run for the last four in 2020-21, this result showed that Bayern can take on the best on the continent – when they really want to.
There is only one Leah Williamson
Arsenal were shaken by the news this week that defender Leah Williamson suffered a “significant” hamstring injury that likely ruled her out for the remainder of 2021.
The Gunners have a lot of depth in this central area. Simone Boye Sorensen, Jen Beattie and Lotte Wubben-Moy are all serving senior internationals.
Left-back Steph Catley played there for Australia – and at a World Cup, no less – while Lia Waelti retired from midfield for the remaining half hour in Wednesday’s game against Koege, a 3-0 victory.
But in this game against the bottom of their Champions League group, Arsenal have shown that they are not so resolute defensively when Williamson is out. How they fare while she’s on the sidelines could have a telling impact on their season.
Wolfsburg’s defense needs to improve for them to challenge again
Ahead of the Champions League group stage, Group A has been billed as the ‘group of death’, with last season runner-up Chelsea, two-time champions Wolfsburg and a raw but brutal Juventus side that s. ‘improves quickly.
Such fierce competition has brought out the best of the Italians. Last week Juve scored a point at Wolfsburg in the dying minutes. On Thursday they won all three wins 2-0.
This result leaves Wolfsburg third before the last two matches and risks being eliminated. With seven goals conceded in four games so far, against 10 scored, it’s clear that there needs to be some improvement for them to regain their place at the top of the game.
Ukrainian women’s football is serious
One of the craziest stories in women’s football this week saw three-time winning Barcelona head coach Lluis Cortes named head coach of Ukraine’s national women’s team. While the country has just applied for the UEFA Women’s Euro 2025, it is hoped that its arrival will strengthen its record.
Days later, the country claimed the first women’s Champions League group stage victory, as Kharkiv beat Icelandic team Breidablik. What was even more important was that he put Ukraine ahead of Portugal in the race to bring two UWCL places to its domestic league for the 2022-2023 season.
With a highly regarded coach leading the national team, two places in Europe that may be available at the national level and the possibility of hosting a major tournament on the table, it is certainly worth keeping an eye out for what’s coming up. happening in Ukraine.