Arsenal LFC made it nine English title in a row on Sunday ahead of their UEFA Women's Champions League round of 32 second leg against FC Barcelona, while there were mixed fortunes for the two former semi-finalists facing early exits.
Unbeaten Arsenal knew the FA WSL title was theirs even before their penultimate game against Doncaster Rovers Belles LFC as the only side that could catch them, fellow European challengers Birmingham City LFC, were held 2-2 at Bristol Academy WFC earlier on Sunday. Before beating Doncaster 3-2, Arsenal defender Stephanie Houghton – whose team lead Barcelona 3-0 prior to Thursday's home leg – told ESPN: "The girls have been immense this year and we have so much strength in depth, [manager] Laura Harvey has been able to freshen things up for each game."
Birmingham do have the consolation of knowing the point all but mathematically confirms a second European campaign next season, as with one game to go they are three points ahead of Everton LFC with a superior goal difference of ten. Meanwhile, the team Birmingham visit on Wednesday holding a 2-0 lead, ASD CF Verona, continued their disappointing start to the season as they were held 1-1 at home by AC Chiasiellis for a second draw in as many Serie A games.
Like Verona, Brøndby IF are former semi-finalists going into a home second leg 2-0 down, but they warmed up for the visit of Stabæk FK by beating BK Skjold 9-3 to make it eight wins out of eight. Stabæk also had a happy weekend, beating Amazon Grimstad FK 1-0 to close the gap to Lillestrøm SK to one point with five games left as the Norwegian leaders lost 2-1 at Arna-Bjørnar Fotball. Arna-Bjørnar are one further point behind, as are Stabæk's fellow European entrants Røa IL, 7-0 winners against bottom side FL Fart.
In Germany, two teams with five European titles between them were matched and it was the side not involved this season – three-time winners 1. FFC Frankfurt – who won 2-1 at 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam with a last-gasp goal by Fatmire Bajramaj against her old club. VfL Wolfsburg, who won their debut European game 5-1 at RTP Unia Racibórz in midweek, triumphed 3-0 at FF USV Jena and have the only remaining 100% record.
Sweden’s representatives WFC Malmö and Göteborg FC both look set to advance to the last 16 but only one are assured entry next season. That spot was clinched by Malmö last week and joining them will be ambitious Tyresö FF, whose 6-0 defeat of two-time European champions Umeå IK left them out of reach of Göteborg. Malmö retain their two-point lead with four games left, defeating Piteå IF 3-1.
Meanwhile, reigning European champions Olympique Lyonnais matched their 7-0 midweek win at PK-35 Vantaa by beating Toulouse FC by the same scoreline. Incredibly, their four competitive fixtures this season have yielded 30 unanswered goals.
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