UEFA Women’s Champions League - Round of 16, First Leg Round-Up: Big guns flex their muscles

UEFA Women’s Champions League - Round of 16, First Leg Round-Up: Big guns flex their muscles

Lyon, Munich and Wolfsburg all but through.

Sophie Lawson

With the first legs of the UEFA Women's Champions League round of 16 out of the way three teams already have a firm foot in the next round.

Strolling to the last eight

Continuing their tradition of not taking any prisoners, Olympique Lyonnaise left Zurich needing a miracle after just 41 minutes. The Swiss champions did well to withstand the pressure and hold out until the 22 minute when Eugénie Le Sommer broke the deadlock, but unfortunately for the visitors that was just the floodgates being torn open as a returning Griedge M'Bock Bathy made it two just four minute later before Ada Hegerberg got in on the action, netting two goals in two minutes.

Hegerberg’s 12-minute hat trick completed on the other side of Le Sommer’s second goal. Already 6-0 down at the break, Zurich did well to rally in the second-half, standing back up to the onslaught before buckling once more at the death and conceding twice in stoppage time, substitutes Mylaine Tarrieu and Claire Lavogez marking the occasion with a goal apiece. A defeat that Zurich will surely not be coming back from at home, just another in a long list of teams to have been taken apart at the Stade de Lyon.

Statistically as dominant as the French champions, although with half the luck in front of goal, Bayern Munich were also looking to make a statement at home as they welcomed newly crowned Russian champions, Rossiyanka.

Only able to convert four of their 32 total attempts, the Bavarians found Yulia Grichenko in fine form although there was nothing the keeper could do to stop Lisa Evans’ cross-cum-shot from sneaking it as it rebounded off of the bar and five minutes before the break before Nicole Rolser added a second on the stroke of half-time.

Dutch dynamo – and habitual goalscorer – Vivianne Miedema doubled the home advantage with two bullet shots that rocketed past Grichenko and into the roof in the net to leave Rossiyanka with a mountain to climb next week.

With conflicting luck in their respective leagues many were expecting a tight game if not just a win for the hosts but shirking off a recent dip in form Wolfsburg blew competition debutants, Eskilstuna out of the water at home. Continuing her excellent away form in the UWCL, Zsanett Jakabfi fired the hosts ahead just five minutes into the game, before grabbing a second just twelve minutes later.

Marija Banušić’s goal slashed the deficit in half just after the half hour and looked to spark the hosts back into life but a clinical Wolfsburg side did more than enough to put the tie to bed after the break. Jakabfi once again the one making life tough for the Swedes as she rounded off her hat trick seven minutes after the restart and then adding a fourth ten minutes later – scoring with every shot she’d put on target. Alexandra Popp put the gloss on fifteen minutes from time, 1-5 surely enough to see Wolfsburg through.

Job not done yet

Despite the lengthy travel time, PSG managed to find the front foot in Kazakhstan as Verónica Boquete fired them into the lead less than twenty minutes in, Irene Paredes’ double either side of half-time giving the Parisians enough of an edge at home. Despite being well in the game throughout, BIIK-Kazygurt will now have to find at least three unanswered goals in Paris next week.

In what looked to be the second 0-3 of the day, Rosengård will be happy taking a two goal cushion back home for the second leg. After a decidedly slow start against Slavia Praha with both sides spurning good chances the visitors took the lead as Ella Masar met Natasha Andonova’s floated corner with a stooping head to knock the ball past Barbora Votíková at after the same player had drawn a good save from the 'keeper.

Lina Nilsson doubled the advantage just three minutes later after a defensive error that allowed her to slip the ball into an empty net after a neat through ball from Masar before Gaëlle Enganamouit converted from the spot in the dying seconds of the first-half.

Although largely muted Rosengård’s commanding lead looked to be enough as they saw far more of the ball after the break, the hosts still bafflingly wasteful, Kateřina Svitková stoppage time free kick somewhere between a consolation and a glimmer of hope at the half-way point of the tie.

All to play for

1-0’s were all the rage on Wednesday as six teams played out three narrow games leaving everything to play for next week.

Dominant in possession, Barcelona were looking to progress to the last eight by way of knocking out Twente for the second year running, dominant throughout, with just three attempts on Barbara Lorsheyd’s goal on target it’s no surprise the score was to tight come full-time. A sublime goal from goal-hound Jenni Hermoso all to separate the teams going into the second leg in Holland.

Much the same as in Barcelona, the hosts dominated the ball in Manchester, but again poor finishing helped to keep the Citizens out, Brøndby composed and regimented for most of the game did well to frustrate the hosts although looked considerably more suspect in the second-half. Just as Hermoso had done for Barca, Keira Walsh did for City, her spectacular curler from 25 yards all to separate the two.

Faring slightly better than their Elitedivisionen counterparts, Fortuna Hjørring were the only away team [on Wednesday] to win. Determined to give Brescia a game from the off, the hosts fared better throughout the match but Fortuna were never outplayed and kept themselves in the game, Tamires’ lone first-half strike giving the team from Hjørring a crucial away goal.