Maybe it is not so surprising that 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam's tussle with VfL Wolfsburg over the next two weekends is far from the first all-German UEFA Women's Champions League encounter.
Indeed, it will be Potsdam's third semi-final against Frauen Bundesliga opposition in six years. Having ended the hopes of FCR 2001 Duisburg – like Wolfsburg, the then holders – on penalties after two 1-0 home wins in 2009/10, the Potsdam side then repeated the trick against the same opponents 12 months later, 3-2 on aggregate, when Turbine were the defending champions.
Potsdam, in fact, were also involved in the first German 'derby' in this competition, though they have less happy memories of that. It was the 2005/06 final, when played over two legs, and they found themselves beaten 4-0 at home and 3-2 away by 1. FFC Frankfurt – the first time Potsdam had lost a European tie having claimed the trophy the previous season.
Oddly, considering the line of form between Frankfurt, Potsdam and Duisburg from those ties, the other such meeting – in the 2008/09 quarter-finals – went the other way. Duisburg, on their competition debut, overcame Frankfurt 3-1 away and 2-0 at home on their way to the trophy. Like Duisburg in 2009/10 and Potsdam four years earlier, Frankfurt were the defending champions, an unsettling omen for Wolfsburg.
Whereas Potsdam and Wolfsburg will play the fifth all-German tie in this competition, in total four other countries have experienced a domestic duel in Europe. The first was in the 2004/05 quarter-finals, and in a foreshadowing of later German matches, holders Umeå IK's bid for a unique hat-trick was halted by Swedish rivals Djurgården IF DFF, who prevailed 2-1 at home and 1-0 away.
The other three have come in the UEFA Women's Champions League era that began in 2009/10. Two seasons later Russia's WFC Rossiyanka won 4-0 away and drew 3-3 at home against compatriots FC Energy Vorenzh in the round of 16, neither side actually the holders on that occasion. Olympique Lyonnais held that status the following campaign when pitted with FCF Juvisy Essonne in the semis, yet avoided the curse of the holders in some style, triumphing 3-0 at home and 6-1 away.
England joined the party last month when Arsenal LFC and Birmingham City LFC went head to head. The 2007 winners Arsenal were in a record 12th quarter-final and had beaten the Blues four times in 2013, but Birmingham, making their bow in the last eight, won 1-0 at home and 2-0 away to once again prove that domestic encounters in UEFA competition can be the most unpredictable of all.
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