Arsenal Women 2 – 0 FC Bayern Women
Arsenal overturned a one-goal deficit to book a place in the Champions League semi-finals for the first time since 2013 after goals from Frida Maanum and Stina Blackstenius inspired a sensational 2-0 win over Bayern Munich at the Emirates Stadium.
The Frauen-Bundesliga leaders, on a 14-game winning streak, held a 1-0 first-leg lead over the Gunners thanks to a header from Lea Schuller, but the resurgent Londoners delivered a far more ruthless and clinical display at home, scoring twice in the first 26 minutes.
Maanum opened the scoring by firing a rocket into the top left corner of Maria-Luisa Grohs’ (20) net, spurred on by an instinctive flick from Leah Williamson, before a determined Katie McCabe beat her defender and sent a crosses to Blackstenius to finish. with an imposing header (26).
The game was much more even after the break, with Arsenal also having to deal with the loss of captain Kim Little to injury early on, but their backline remained stiff and defiant, keeping Bayern at bay, before Caitlin Foord missed a great opportunity to wrap the tie with 20 minutes to go.
“If we succeed, we can beat any team,” Jonas Eidevall said triumphantly after the match, while revealing that he had received a congratulatory message from sporting director Edu, who was present alongside Mikel Arteta at the Emirates.
The Eidevall side, who fended off several other golden chances to make the scoreline more comfortable, will now face either PSG or Wolfsburg for a place in the Champions League final on June 3.
- Arsenal: Jonas Eidevall has named Victoria Pelova in his starting XI in place of Laura Wienroither. Pelova started the 5-1 North London derby triumph over Tottenham on Saturday but was not in Eidevall’s selection in Munich last week.
- Bavaria: The visitors’ first change saw Franziska Kett replace Sydney Lohmann in attack.
How the skilful Gunners booked a place in the semi-finals
The margin of victory would have been much more comfortable without a fine goalkeeping display from Grohs and a messy finish from Arsenal’s forward line.
Due to Little’s early departure, assistant captain Williamson – who is celebrating her 26th birthday – has been pushed further forward, with the change in position playing a part in the home side’s well-worked opener.
The defender and midfielder guided a deft shot into Maanum’s path from the edge of the area, and she netted a superb strike for her fifth Champions League goal of an impressive campaign.
Bayern, so resilient in domestic competition, have let just four league goals slip away this season but were powerless to prevent the Gunners from doubling their advantage before the half-hour mark when McCabe blasted his way to the sideline and Blackstenius nodded close.
Goalkeeper Grohs kept the visitors alive in the second half, saving a close-range header from Blackstenius before Lotte Wubben-Moy’s misplaced cross was sent off the crossbar. Foord then inflated a wonderful chance over the crossbar after being rolled smartly by Maanum 12 yards from goal.
McCabe limped off late to present Eidevall with another injury problem, but the Swede will be delighted his Continental Cup winners have at least two more games to add to their busy schedule as they chase a historic first European final since 2007.
‘I don’t know (on the injury front),’ Arsenal boss says sky sports. “We need to use the times for tonight and tomorrow in order to have a clear understanding. When we have more information, we will update.”
Eidevall: Potential to beat any team
Arsenal head coach Jonas Eidevall:
“It’s a long-term goal to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League. I’m very happy that we’re going to the semi-finals. It’s an incredible achievement that we’re so proud of – I said to players before the game, we have the potential to beat any team when we achieve all things perfect.
“That doesn’t mean it’s easy or that we can do it every time. But we have that potential now. So if we have it, it wouldn’t be amazing and beautiful if we could bring that to a one more step in this competition, to see how strong our wings are and how high we can fly together.
“We managed to do that today, it’s a proud moment for the whole club. If we do well, we can beat any team. It also means that there is a lot of work in the performances to be consistent I take nothing We have to face every situation and do our best.
He added: “I got a really nice message from Edu after the game. The support from the whole club is wonderful. There’s a lot of talk about always acting classy – you really get the meaning of that when you’re at the game. Inside the It’s rooted and spreading, the communication and conviction on their part is incredible.
Straus: ‘Sad’ to leave – Arsenal best team
Bayern Munich head coach Alexander Straus:
“Congratulations to Arsenal, they were really good in both legs. Today they were the better team and that’s okay. Today we did something we don’t normally do. We gave away the ball too easily.
“The first goal, we had warning signs. It’s disappointing that we couldn’t adapt to the situation. They went high with their press. We could have pushed back and gone more directly to explore space. We didn’t make it in the right order.
“We’ve won 14 in a row. We lose a bit of confidence after the goal and that doesn’t need to happen. We have to keep being brave, but we’ve stopped that. We were a bit fragile, to be honest .
“Today is a tough day for us, but we don’t have time to linger. Now we’re out. It’s sad.”
Barca cruise past Rome
Barcelona reached the last four of the Champions League for the fifth consecutive year by beating Roma 5-1 in the second leg of their quarter-final.
They advance 6-1 on aggregate and will face defending champions Lyon or Chelsea in the April semi-finals.
Fridolina Rolfo scored twice in the first half before Mapi Len added another to make it 3-0 at the break. Asisat Oshoala and Patri Guijarro scored two more shortly after the break, while Annamaria Serturini netted a consolation for Roma.
Arsenal have only one match before the international break in April, with the host Eidevall team Manchester City Sunday in a massive WSL showdown as the title race races to its conclusion – kick off at 12.30pm.
from Bayern Munich the next outing will also be on Sunday, with the Frauen-Bundesliga leaders moving to ninth place Meppen – kick off 12h.