The UEFA Women's Champions League knockout stage begins with the round of 32 on 5 October and among the sides gearing up for a debut, Manchester City are celebrating a maiden English title.
UEFA.com rounds up the latest from all the leading summer leagues ahead of the European ties, and sees how the likes of holders Lyon and 2016 runners-up Wolfsburg have begun their domestic seasons.
Manchester City secured their first FA Women's Super League title on Sunday with a 2-0 win against reigning champions Chelsea, the only side that could still catch them. Katie Chapman's own goal was added to by a Toni Duggan penalty for unbeaten City in front of a club-record crowd of 4,096 and manager Nick Cushing said: "It's been a great season. We didn't think we would win the league in our first year, we thought we might last year and pushed Chelsea all the way, but this year we had a real desire and we've done it. It feels really good, and the aim now is to continue growing this team."
City, preparing for their European debut at home to Zvezda-2005 on 6 October, have therefore already booked their return in 2017/18 while Chelsea – who take on Wolfsburg – can still be caught for England's second berth by Arsenal. The WSL will now revert to a winter season from the current summer dates.
— Vincent Kompany (@VincentKompany) September 25, 2016
Germany's two European contenders came head to head on Sunday and Wolfsburg won 2-1 at Bayern München, Alex Popp hitting the clincher with 14 minutes left after Vivianne Miedema had cancelled out Lara Dickenmann's first-half opener. Wolfsburg have seven points from three games, three ahead of Bayern but two behind the only team with a 100% record, Turbine Potsdam.
A bit of history was made on Sunday when Paris Saint-Germain met newly-promoted Marseille in the first women's top-flight Classique. Marie-Laure Delie gave Paris a 1-0 win to make it two victories out of two; Lyon saw off Aibi 6-0 and now have 15 unanswered goals for their six points.
— Verónica Boquete (@VeroBoquete) September 25, 2016
The Damallsvenskan has turned into a two-team title race with both Linköping and reigning champions Rosengård unbeaten. Linköping lead by a point with a game in hand, to be played at Göteborg on Wednesday; Rosengård won 2-0 at Kristianstad on Sunday with goals from Ella Masar and Marta.
The top two meet in Linköping on 9 October between the two legs of Rosengård's tie with Breidablik. The other Swedish European contenders Eskilstuna United, out of the title race in third but on a five-game unbeaten run since the summer break, will face Glasgow City.
Already crowned 2016 champions, Rossiyanka are now 12 points clear of their fellow European contenders Zvezda-2005, who this weekend missed the chance to clinch a UEFA berth for next season with a game to spare. While Rossiyanka overcame Kubanochka 2-0, the Perm side were beaten 2-1 at home by Ryazan, who are now within a point of second place.
Zvezda can still secure the runners-up spot on Thursday when they host CSKA Moskva while Ryazan will hope to snatch a European berth as they play Rossiyanka, whose double hopes were ended on 8 September by a 3-0 Russian Cup semi-final loss in Perm.
With four games to go both Glasgow and Hibernian are sure of returning to Europe in 2017/18 as they continue their title race. Glasgow maintained their five-point lead on Sunday as they won 1-0 at Spartans – the only team to take points off them this season with a 3-0 away success at City – while Hibernian, who have a UEFA competition debut against Bayern coming up, confirmed a top-two finish by beating Stirling University 5-0.
Glasgow have already beaten Hibernian in their three league meetings this season so the Edinburgh side are hoping City will fail to pick up the eight points from four games they need for a tenth straight Scottish title.
— Glasgow City FC (@GlasgowCityFC) September 25, 2016
The league will come to a thrilling end on Friday with just two points separating the top two. Reigning champions Breidablik won 2-0 against bottom side ÍA to remain in touch with leaders Stjarnan, 3-0 victors at KR Reykjavík. Breidablik, still unbeaten in the league, drew 1-1 at Stjarnan on 10 September, the visitors conceding with only ten minutes to go having been reduced to ten men.
On Friday Stjarnan host FH while Breidablik go to Fylkir knowing they will need a four-goal win to overturn their goal difference deficit should the leaders draw.
In the other leading summer league, LSK Kvinner look on course for a third straight title. Their 2-1 win at Trondheims-Ørn on Saturday kept the Lillestrom side unbeaten, with 16 wins and two draws in their 18 games, scoring 71 goals – including 26 by Isabell Herlovsen – and conceding just six. Avaldnses are seven points behind with five games left to LSK's four, winning 3-1 at Røa.
LSK, who meet Paris in Europe next month, are on a winning run of 13 games and are unbeaten in all of their 22 competitive fixtures in 2016. Avaldnses also have French opposition in the UEFA Women's Champions League in the shape of holders Lyon.
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