It's tight at the top and at the bottom of the Frauen-Bundesliga, with the title and relegation races looking like they'll both go the distance.
Hasret Kayikci gave the hosts an advantage seventeen minutes in after soundly connecting with Lina Magull’s neat cut-back in the box. The lead swiftly doubled by Guilia Gwinn four minutes later, the ball in from the left – this time by way of Carolin Simon – the ticket to unlock the defence.
Her dinked ball met on the other side of the box by Gwinn to fire past Christina Bellinghoven. The young striker on hand to send Magull’s low cross through the box and inside of Bellinghoven’s near post, the hosts up with just 25 minutes played.
Defensive improvements from Gladbach saw them hold the Breisgau team at 3-0 for the majority of the second-half before Magull bagged the last of the day, her composed footwork on the edge of the box enough to work the space before she looped the ball through the air over the box and inside of the near post. The win SCF’s first in the league since December.
If the Wolves were carrying any disappointments from their French trip midweek it didn’t show as they took to the pitch at home and battled through an open first-half to take the lead seven minutes before the break. After Pernille Harder was taken out by Martina Tufekovic as she broke into the box, referee Nadine Westerhoff had no hesitation in showing Tufekovic a yellow and pointing to the spot. Caroline Graham Hansen more than willing to make it three goals in her last three appearances – all from the spot – as she slammed the ball into the left side of the net with Tufekovic hesitant.
From then on the hosts hit their stride and were fast two goals up when Emily van Egmond connected well with Lara Dickenmann’s scooped cross to head past Tufekovic from six yards out on the breath of half-time. Hoffenheim were hit for a quick-fire third not long after the restart as green shirts flooded forward and Harder slipped the ball past both her marker and the goalkeeper from close range.
The fourth goal signalled 1899’s heaviest loss this season (inching ahead of their first day 3-0 loss to Potsdam, the side from Baden-Württemberg now only having lost by more than one goal twice this season) and came through van Egmond for her brace, the Australian international unmarked in the box to slot the ball beyond the keeper.
The win (and vital fourth goal) enough to take Wolfsburg to the summit of the FBL, a hair ahead of the Turbines.
Despite good chances for both neither bottom half team were able to capitalise and find the better of either keeper, poor finishing a theme throughout. The draw does however keep things interesting in the bottom half, Leverkusen still inching their way from Gladbach, Duisburg still looking to hit their stride.
Still struggling with injuries, Potsdam would have been left frustrated that they couldn’t convert more than one of their chances at the Stadion Essen, their spot at the top of the pile having been surrendered to Wolfsburg with the draw.
The open nature of the game suited both sides and it didn’t take long for the game to get its’ first goal when Johanna Elsig found herself on the right side of the defence to receive Jennifer Cramer recycled cross at the middling free kick. The centre back with time to bring the ball down and slot low inside of the near post, the hosts asking for offside.
A goal down, Essen were far from discouraged and found an equaliser early in the second-half, Charline Hartmann’s solo effort worthy of all three points. The attacker untroubled by the defenders as she sipped through and around, her delicate one-two with Manjou Wilde enough to set her before firing into the far corner. The chances for a winner continued to flow with the visitors denied first by the woodwork then a fine clearance off of the line by Linda Dallmann at the death, Essen with a hard-earned point.
Up against an improving Jena side, Frankfurt were forced to rely of talismanic striker Mandy Islacker for their moment of magic at the Ernst-Abbe Sportfeld, the FBL leading goalscorer able to pick her spot after receiving Yūki Nagasato lay-off. Down but not out, Jena saw the next real chance of the game and Lina Hausicke would have seen her header fly into the back of the net had it not been for Kathrin Hendrich’s headed clearance off of the line. Frankfurt now unbeaten in their last eight in the league.
The other German team involved in midweek UWCL action, Bayern Munich, looked as nonplussed as Wolfsburg, the team keen to climb the table. On top at home against Sand, the Bavarians were left frustrated by the deadlock, having seen both Gina Lewandowski and Vivianne Miedema come close through headers either side of the break before Nina Burger connected poorly with her own header, Manuela Zinsberger with an easy claim.
Made to wait and work, Bayern finally found their winner nine minutes from time after a second scrappy corner in five minutes, Caroline Abbé lively enough to pounce on a loose ball and slot home after Carina Schlüter had spilled Sara Däbritz’ initial shot.
Far from pretty the three points keep Bayern in the mix for top two.