Europe's biggest clubs enter the UEFA Women's Champions League in the round of 32 this week – and the leading contenders are showing good form.
Holders Olympique Lyonnais began their French title defence with an 8-0 win against Rodez AF a fortnight ago. They matched that on Sunday at FCF Nord Yzeure Allier, with Camille Abily's hat-trick adding to her two goals on the opening day. Fellow European contenders FCF Juvisy Essonne also have two wins, on Saturday defeating Issy FF 9-1. Elsewhere, a team hoping to return next season, Paris Saint-Germain FC, saw off RC Saint-Étienne 5-0. On Friday they had signed Sweden forward Kosovare Asllani.
It was also a good weekend for the French sides' midweek opponents, as Lyon's hosts PK-35 Vantaa moved a step closer to retaining the Finnish title with a 1-0 win at Nice Furis Pori. Furthermore, ahead of hosting Jusivy, FC Zürich Frauen made it six out of six in Switzerland, seeing off Yverdon Sport FC 5-1.
Arsenal LFC go to FC Barcelona in an eagerly anticipated tie on Wednesday having already secured European football next season with a 4-1 FA WSL defeat of Liverpool LFC. While Arsenal know they will finish in the top two, European debutants Birmingham City LFC remain in mathematical contention – six points behind with two games left – after winning 2-0 at Doncaster Rovers Belles LFC.
Barcelona, meanwhile, lost their first two Spanish league matches but overcame SP Comarcas Llanos de Olivenza 3-0 on Sunday. Birmingham's opponents, ASD CF Verona, blew a two-goal lead in Italy as they drew 2-2 at ACF Brescia Femminile, although ASD Torres Calcio opened with a 6-0 defeat of Lazio Calcio.
Barcelona and Doncaster's fellow European newcomers VfL Wolfsburg – whose hosts RTP Unia Racibórz have won all six Polish fixtures so far – began their Frauen Bundesliga season by beating VfL Sindelfingen 6-0. New signing Alexandra Popp was among the scorers.
Reigning champions 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam ensured a second victory, cruising 4-0 at FCR 2001 Duisburg. Potsdam's opponents Standard Fémina de Liège have won all four games in the Belgian group of the new BeNe League. In the Dutch section, ADO Den Haag have nine points from four fixtures as they take on early Russian leaders FC Rossiyanka.
WFC Malmö, who go to an MTK Hungária FC side with five wins and 44 unanswered goals in Hungary, know they will be back in Europe in 2013/14 as they near a third straight Swedish title. Anja Mittag's last-minute goal gave Malmö a 3-2 win at Vittsjö GIK on Sunday. With five games to go they cannot be caught by Göteborg FC, who moved into third by overcoming Kristianstads DFF 3-0. Marta's Tyresö FF are five points behind Malmö with a game in hand, at AIK on Tuesday.
Glasgow City LFC have effectively retained the Scottish title with four games left thanks to an 8-0 defeat of Forfar Farmington LFC, useful form ahead of a tough tie against Danish champions Fortuna Hjørring. They won 8-3 at Taastrup FC on Sunday to stay within three points of Brøndby IF, 6-2 victors at BSF as they prepare to play Stabæk Fotball. The Norwegian league hopefuls lost 3-2 at Lillestrøm SK in a top-of-the-table encounter. They are now four points adrift with six games left, only one ahead of fourth-placed Røa Fotball Elite, 5-0 victors at Kattem IL.
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