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Arsenal, Malmö on charge as Stjarnan close in

Published: Monday 19 August 2013, 10.11CET
Arsenal LFC and FC Malmö have been in the goals and beaten their fellow European entrants as UEFA.com looks at how the last-32 contenders are getting on at home.
Arsenal, Malmö on charge as Stjarnan close in
Jordan Nobbs (left) scored twice in Arsenal's 3-0 win at Liverpool ©The FA via Getty Images
Published: Monday 19 August 2013, 10.11CET

Arsenal, Malmö on charge as Stjarnan close in

Arsenal LFC and FC Malmö have been in the goals and beaten their fellow European entrants as UEFA.com looks at how the last-32 contenders are getting on at home.

Arsenal LFC and FC Malmö have boosted their title hopes with victories against their fellow UEFA Women's Champions League entrants and UEFA.com looks at how the contenders are faring in the summer domestic competitions with the round of 32 draw looming on 5 September.

In the case of the summer leagues, teams are chasing places in the 2014/15 UEFA Women's Champions League with next season's contenders having been decided in their 2012 campaigns. Other leading leagues, including those of Germany, France and Italy, have winter seasons and are yet to begin.

SWEDEN
Tyresö FF snatched the title off FC Malmö with an away win on the final day of last season but their was some revenge last week as the champions fell 3-2 at home to see their three-point lead wiped out. The home side led twice but Ramona Bachmann struck twice for Malmö, including an 84th-minute winner, despite Amanda Ilestedt being sent off with the score at 1-1.

Malmö, who still trailed on goal difference, moved three points clear on Sunday with Anja Mittag scoring two and Bachmann making two in a spectacular 5-0 win at last season's fellow European quarter-finalists Gotebörg FC, perhaps missing their departed top scorer Jodie Taylor. Having learned this week that they will be unseeded in the round of 32 draw, unlike Malmö, Tyresö's game in hand is at KIF Örebro DFF on Wednesday night.

ENGLAND
Arsenal LFC's bid to continue their monopoly of the three-year FA Women's Super League title – and make it ten English championships in a row – is gaining momentum after a slow start. At the UEFA Women's EURO 2013 break, Arsenal trailed both Liverpool LFC and Bristol Academy WFC by eight points with two games in hand. However, on 3 August Arsenal won 3-0 at Liverpool, then beat Everton LFC 5-0 before on Sunday prevailing 3-1 at fellow European contenders Birmingham City LFC thanks to first-half goals from Stephanie Houghton, Ellen White and Gemma Davison.

Liverpool are still top after consecutive 4-3 wins against Bristol and Chelsea LFC. Bristol had previously won 3-2 at Everton and are within three points of Liverpool with a game in hand but only two clear of Arsenal who have played a match fewer – with the title and two 2014/15 European places looking between those three.

NORWAY
LSK Kvinner FK may be unbeaten but their grip on the title is being loosened by Stabæk FK. Having held a two-point lead at the international break, Stabæk doubled that advantage last weekend as they saw off Røa IL 4-0 with a second-half of four goals opened by Caroline Graham Hansen (who joins Tyresö next month) while LSK were held 0-0 by lowly Vålerenga Fotball. LSK's 31 August trip to Stabæk now looks a must-win if their hopes of playing in Europe in 2014/15 are not to fade before their 2013/14 campaign begins.

FINLAND
PK-35 Vantaa's three-year reign looks set to be ended by the previous title holders, 2010 champions Åland United. However, Åland's unbeaten start to the season was ended on Wednesday when they lost their 17th fixture 2-1 at FC Honka Espoo, but that second-placed club remain nine points adrift of the leaders along with PK-35, who have a game in hand having last week been successful in the UEFA Women's Champions League qualifying round.

ICELAND
Having lost the title to Thór/KA last year it looks like Stjarnan are ready to reclaim their crown. With five games left Stjarnan are 12 points clear of Valur Reykjavík having won all 13 of their fixtures including 5-0 against HK/Víkingur most recently. Thór/KA are already out of the running, back in sixth after drawing 0-0 at Valur in their last game.

SCOTLAND
Seeded in the round of 32 draw, and having beaten BeNe League champions FC Twente in the Netherlands to top their qualifying round group, Glasgow City LFC are looking good in their bid for a seventh straight Scottish title, which would include all five championships since the switch to a summer season. They have won all 13 of their fixtures so far, and are five points clear of Hibernian LFC – who they have twice beaten 4-0 – with a game in hand. Glasgow have also been boosted by the return during their mini-tournament in Twente of Rachel Corsie from a long-term injury.

RUSSIA
The season began last week and Russia's two European contenders – champions FK Zorkiy Krasnogorsk and FC Rossiyanka – have both suffered home defeats by Ryazan-VDV. First Rossiynaka went down 2-0 after two Elena Danilova goals and on Thursday the striker, who missed out on UEFA Women's EURO 2013, scored twice again in a 3-0 triumph at Zorkiy. In their other games Rossiyanka and Zorkiy have both beaten FK Mordovochka Saransk 2-1 but are already adrift of Ryazan and 2009 UEFA Women's Cup runners-up WFC Zvezda-2005 Perm, who also have two wins and five unanswered goals.

DENMARK
Having been beaten to the title by Brøndby IF for the last three seasons, Fortuna Hjørring are setting the early pace. Fortuna have won all three of their fixtures with ten unanswered goals, including on Saturday a 6-0 triumph at Taastrup FC. Brøndby, by contrast, have only a 2-2 draw at home to IK Skovbakken to their name, already dropping as many points as they did in the whole of last season.

Last updated: 05/09/13 9.36CET

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