German title holders 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam go into the winter break with a four-point lead in the Frauen-Bundesliga while fellow UEFA Women's Champions League quarter-finalists 1. FFC Frankfurt ended the year with a win but Olympique Lyonnais are still trailing in France.
While five of the eight teams remaining in European competition have long been in close season or on their winter break, the German and French leagues have played on into December. The Frauen-Bundesliga ended for two months this weekend and Potsdam remain ahead even though their scheduled match at Hamburger SV was postponed, meaning they are four points clear of fellow former European champions FCR 2001 Duisburg who also had their fixture called off.
Frankfurt, however, were in action and were able to end a four-game winless league run, which included a loss to Potsdam and last Saturday's 1-1 draw with Duisburg, that had followed seven straight victories at the start of the season. Visiting mid-table SG Essen-Schönebeck, Frankfurt led at half-time through Kerstin Garefrekes, who had previously hit the crossbar, and although the home side pushed hard, in the last four minutes substitute Dzsenifer Marozsan and Svenja Huth clinched a 3-0 win.
Garefrekes, whose side are third, five points behind Potsdam and one adrift of Duisburg having played a game more than both, said: "It was very important that we ended the year on a positive note. That was a tough job and we hope that we take the momentum into the new year."
France's Division 1 Féminine ended last weekend and European champions Lyon – league winners five years running – are unbeaten but a point adrift of the previous team to take the title, FCF Juvisy Essonne. Lyon lost ground when held at Montpellier Hérault SC and Paris Saint-Germain FC in October and on 3 December needed a late equaliser to draw 1-1 at home to Juvisy.
That kept the gap at one point and so it remained despite Lyon going into the break with a 6-1 victory at FCF Hénin-Beaumont, Eugénie Le Sommer, Wendie Renard and Lara Dickenmann all striking twice. Juvisy beat FC Vendenheim 3-1 to stay ahead, although they have scored 37 goals to Lyon's 71 and conceded 12 rather than three.
Fixtures in France resume on 8 January, while Lyon continue their UEFA Women's Champions League defence in March against Brøndby IF, unbeaten and three points clear in Denmark. Potsdam are up against Russian leaders FC Rossiyanka while three-time winners Frankfurt are matched with FC Malmö, fresh from retaining their Swedish title this year. Damallsvenskan runners-up again, Göteborg FC play Arsenal LFC, who like the Swedish pair have already secured their 2012/13 place by topping England's FA WSL, and will be accompanied next season by runners-up Birmingham City LFC, making their European debut.
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