With no upsets occurring this time around, we instead got treated to two hat tricks (Caroline Møller and Jordyn Huitema) and every so-called big team dominating proceedings in the UEFA Women’s Champions League on matchday two.
Despite the perfunctory results, Juventus F.C. vs Chelsea F.C. in Turin did give us a thrilling match in a pulsating atmosphere and will make most people look forward to the rest of the matches in their group.
Servette FCCF travelled to Germany to face VfL Wolfsburg and could not stop the hosts from dominating proceedings. After failing to clear the ball in the 18th minute, Svenja Huth got the rebound and smashed the ball home for Wolfsburg’s first. Tabea Waßmuth continued her good start to this Champions League campaign with with goals in the 26th and 43rd minutes of the game, making the way back even more difficult for Servette.
Dominique Janssen made it four in the 51st minute as a corner kick by the hosts wasn’t defended well by Servette and Janssen had an easy opportunity to get another goal for Wolfsburg. Joëlle Smits then added the fifth in the 68th minute to cap off a fine performance by the German side.
The big win puts Wolfsburg in first place after two games and with a superior goal difference to everyone else. They have a double-header against Juventus coming up and if they manage to win one of those, that will probably be enough to get them qualification to the knock out stages.
The other group game saw Chelsea once again involved in a pulsating match. In front of a vociferous crowd in Turn, Pernille Harder found the winner to keep Chelsea on track for qualification.
After some good chances for both sides, it was Chelsea who took the lead in the 31st minute. Erin Cuthbert went on a great run that took her past some defenders before she found the bottom corner. Juventus weren’t down for long as Lisa Boattin’s cross picked out Barbara Bonnasea’s far post run and the Juventus No. 11 finished well on the volley, much to the delight of the home fans. Both teams continued to test each other after the half time break but Harder’s goal proved to be the only scored in the second half. Sam Kerr’s effort was blocked but the ball fell kindly to Harder and she made no mistake from close range.
Paris-Saint Germain continued their unbeaten start to the group with a 5-0 win over Zhytlobud-1 Kharkiv. Jordyn Huitema starred as she scored the first hat trick of the Champions League this season. After constantly testing Gamze Yaman, who produced a lot of fine saves throughout, Huitema was the first to break the deadlock in the 25th minute. She used her strength to rob Kristine Aleksanyan of the ball and then gave Yaman the eyes before knocking the ball in at the near post. The Canadian was the first to react when Ramona Bachmann’s effort came off the crossbar and nodded the ball in for her second in the 32nd minute. Huitema finished off her hat trick in the 42nd minute when Kadidiatou Diani sped past the Kharkiv backline before picking out Huitema inside the area.
The second half did not get any better for Kharkiv as Paulina Dudek added to the scoreline in the 59th minute when she glanced her header past Yaman from a corner kick. Substitute Léa Khelifi then added the fifth in the 88th minute when Yaman’s attempted punch out reached her first.
After winning their first league game of the season, Real Madrid followed that up with an impressive performance against Breiðablik UDK. Breiðablik had hung on against PSG in the previous round but seemed to be at sixes and sevens against Real Madrid and Caroline Møller in particular. Møller, who was getting her first start in the Champions League of the season, scored the first of her three in the fifth minute. Kenti Robles picked up her run and after a fine first touch, Møller finished well past the goalkeeper. Møller got her second in the 20th minute when Lorena Navarro’s effort was cleared off the line by Kristín Dís Árnadóttir. Unfortunately for Breiðablik, the ball fell to Møller and she made no mistake from that range. The third goal of the game came from Møller again in the 43rd minute when Robles got to the byline and found the Norwegian striker making a late run into the box.
Møller turned provider in the 47th minute when a deflected pass reached her and she passed it off to substitute Olga Carmona who finished well from close range. Navarro then got the fortune she missed out on earlier in the 89th minute when Nahikari Garcia’s volley was cleared off the line again by Dís Árnadóttir and the ball came to Navarro who could not miss from that position. Real Madrid will now face a double header against PSG and depending on how those two games go, either one of the elite names will qualify early for the knock out stages or it may give Breiðablik or Kharkiv the chance to sneak past the top two and advance from the group stages.
FC Barcelona made a lot of changes to their starting line up against HB Køge and they almost paid for it. The Danish side troubled the current champions on the break and if their finishing had been better, could have produced a shock result in this group (and the tournament overall).
Instead, Barcelona made changes in the second half and found the goals they needed to keep themselves on top of Group C. HB Køge’s defensive stability faltered in the 62nd minute and allowed Barcelona to break quickly. Lieke Martens swung the ball in and Fridolina Rolfö opened the scoring after beating her defender to the ball. Jenni Hermoso then made sure of the points in stoppage time with a well-taken penalty.
Arsenal FC looked to bounce back after their disappointing performance against Barcelona with a win against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. A 4-0 win with four different scorers was exactly what the Londoners would have wanted.
Kim Little started things off with a successful penalty in the 21st minute. A great knock down header from Vivianne Miedema allowed Tobin Heath to add to the lead just before half time. Miedema then got on the scoresheet herself in the 51st minute when Beth Mead’s effort wasn’t dealt with properly by goalkeeper Martina Tufekovic. Leah Williamson then capped off a great evening for Arsenal with a goal in the 86th minute.
Melvine Malard added her own hat trick to the Champions League as Olympique Lyonnais romped to a 5-0 win at home against S.L. Benfica. With a few key injuries, Lyon had to shift players around but they were still too strong for the Portuguese team.
After a few scares on the break by Benfica, Kadeisha Buchanan found the first goal of the game in the 29th minute. Benfica were caught out almost right after the restart as Daniëlle van de Donk nicked the ball from Pauleta and was found unselfishly by Malard to score Lyon’s second of the game. Malard then added her second in the 53rd minute with a spectacular bicycle kick and Catarina Macario got the fourth from the penalty spot in the 56th minute. Buchanan then added her second in the 63rd minute when she powered home her header from a corner.
Bayern Munich improved on their previous matchday performance with a 4-0 win over BK Häcken as Lea Schüller produced another strong performance for her team this season.
A great run to beat the offside trap by Sofia Jakobsson led to the opener as goalkeeper Jennifer Falk got into a mix up with her defenders, giving Schüller the chance to give Bayern the lead in the eighth minute. Schüller scored her second soon after that when Giulia Gwinn picked her out with great cross in the 11th minute. Linda Dallmann and Jovana Damnjanović then added two second half goals to make sure of the win for Bayern and keep them on track for qualification.
Player of the round: Caroline Møller
Match of the round: Juventus vs Chelsea
Goal of the round: Melvine Malard vs Benfica