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Conny Pohlers and Martina Müller gave VfL Wolfsburg a 2-0 lead to take home in their UEFA Women's Champions League semi-final against Arsenal LFC.
Arsenal may be in their sixth semi-final having won in 2007, while Wolfsburg are making their debut, but Pohlers has already taken this title with both 1. FFC Frankfurt and 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam – and her first-half volley was a record 42nd goal in the competition. The Gunners had chances of their own, especially through Ellen White, but Müller's late effort means Arsenal face a huge task at the VfL Arena next Sunday if they are to make the 23 May final at Stamford Bridge.
Missing suspended defender Ciara Grant and injured striker Kelly Smith, Arsenal were put under early pressure by Wolfsburg, with the German leaders hoping to become the fourth side from their nation to take the European title in their debut campaign. The hosts finally began responding after the 20-minute mark, with White's header stopped on the line by the leaping Lena Goessling, and Kim Little's shot zipping past a post.
However, on 29 minutes Wolfsburg grabbed the lead as Anna Blässe's cross was volleyed in by Pohlers. White nearly levelled, but, after getting past goalkeeper Alisa Vetterlein, Luisa Wensing made a vital block, before Verena Faisst kept out Stephanie Houghton's swinging free-kick.
Arsenal struggled to create chances in the second half but went very close with 19 minutes left when White's header looped onto the bar with Vetterlein beaten. Soon after, the England striker nodded towards goal, only for Wensing to clear off the line.
With a strong wind – and a packed 1,406-strong crowd – behind them, Arsenal pressed hard, and Gemma Davison proved a particular danger. An equaliser nonetheless eluded them and, with five minutes left, Müller calmly finished to double the lead. The only blip for Wolfsburg was a booking for Alexandra Popp, ruling her out of the return.
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