Arsenal LFC ended their long wait to beat a German side with a 2-1 UEFA Women's Champions League round of 16 first-leg win against 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam but they were disappointed not to take a bigger lead into Wednesday's rematch against a team, who like them, have never exited before the quarter-finals.
The Gunners edged ahead in a tight contest on 70 minutes when Katie Chapman turned in Rachel Yankey's corner, before Ellen White came off the bench to make it 2-0 after Kim Little's pass. However, in the last minute Potsdam captain Yuki Ogimi chipped Emma Byrne for a priceless away goal against opponents the Japan striker said were "stronger". Arsenal defender Niamh Fahey told UEFA.com the English champions are gaining in maturity while White and manager Laura Harvey were both delighted by the display.
Laura Harvey, Arsenal manager
I thought we performed excellently. The biggest praise I can give my players is they stuck to exactly what the game plan was for the whole 90 minutes. The one thing we'll be disappointed about when we look back on the game is the amount of chances we created but didn't score. Apart from that I can't think of any other fault. That's the class Potsdam have, you can't deny them for the whole game. The disappointing thing is they had one shot on target and we didn't stop it but it was a great finish so credit to them.
The experience [of losing in last season's semi-finals] against Frankfurt, was that after the game I believed we could beat them but I'm not sure the players wholeheartedly believed it. But that was the mindset today – it's changed, they truly believed they could beat Potsdam, and within five minutes they believed in everything we'd been telling them in training and put that into practice. They thoroughly deserved to win, and should have won by more goals.
Niamh Fahey, Arsenal defender
It is a good result but the second leg is coming round the corner so we've got to keep focused on that, it's not won yet. It was a bit of killer to concede so late on but we're still 2-1 up and the way we played today, everyone looked good and confident, so it's not all bad news for the next leg.
We've never beaten a German team before and it's great to beat them 2-1 in the first leg. We played really well, it's more about us than them. We really showed how confident we are so hopefully we can continue that in the next leg.
You can tell the maturity is starting to come. The newer players have two or three seasons under their belt and it's really starting to show, and that only comes with experience. Kelly Smith, Alex Scott and Gemma Davison have come back from America and added a boost to the squad. It's a really good squad and everyone's doing their bit.
Ellen White, Arsenal forward
I think we really needed a decent result at home and we're really pleased to get the two goals. I'm disappointed of course to concede but it's a positive result to take into Wednesday's game away from home. The team played really well, we put in a fantastic performance, we were really brave and bold, and we can take confidence from this performance into Wednesday's game.
Yuki Ogimi, Potsdam forward
Arsenal are far stronger than us but this result gave us a good chance in the next game. This is the first time I have played against a top English side and I enjoyed it very much. By playing against a team like Arsenal, we have to progress further. We just need to win 1-0 in the return leg and we will focus on getting a good result.
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