The UEFA Women's Champions League round of 32 first legs are played on Wednesday and Thursday but the leading contenders had domestic concerns this weekend. UEFA.com looks at the key results, with the summer leagues coming to an end and the winter competitions starting to take shape.
FCR Malmö are now within a point of wresting the title back from Tyresö FF. Tyresö, who make their European debut at home to Paris Saint-Germain FC on Wednesday, were held 1-1 at mid-table Piteå IF on Saturday. That allowed Malmö to open up a six-point lead the following day as they overcame KIF Örebro DFF 4-2. Malmö will secure the title next Sunday with a draw against Umeå IK and will already be champions if Tyresö fail to defeat Göteborg FC the previous afternoon, though a draw would at least ensure a European return in 2014/15 for the second-placed side.
LSK Kvinner FK, who welcome Malmö on Thursday, are five points behind Stabæk FK with three games left and yesterday the league leaders overcame the reigning champions 4-3 after extra time in an epic Norwegian Cup semi-final. Three times LSK led, including one in the additional half-hour, but a Julie Skjeflo Adserø goal in the 120th minute sealed double-chasing Stabæk's win.
Arsenal LFC conceded the FA Women's Super League title to Liverpool LFC and the other 2014/15 European slot to Bristol Academy WFC last week but have the consolation of a knockout double after adding the FA WSL Cup to the FA Women's Cup they won in May. Facing Lincoln LFC in the last game before that club become Notts County LFC next year, Arsenal won 2-0 thanks to Ellen White and Kim Little as they gear up to visit Kazakhstan's FC CSHVSM-Kairat.
England's other representatives Birmingham City LFC face PK-35 Vantaa, whose four-year reign as champions is over despite beating FC Honka Espoo 4-1 on Saturday. That was because Åland United clinched the championship for the first time since 2009, a 5-0 defeat of Pallokissat leaving them eight points ahead with two games to go.
Glasgow City LFC have already sealed a seventh straight title as ahead of their tie with Standard Femina de Liège they reached the Scottish Women's Cup final by beating Celtic LFC 3-0 through Jo Love, Suzanne Mulvey and Suzanne Lappin.
Both German sides have seemingly straightforward last-32 ties followed by potentially tough round of 16 tests, but they look in decent form. Last season's UEFA Women's Champions League and German double-winners VfL Wolfsburg, up against Estonian champions Pärnu JK, triumphed 4-0 at FCR 2001 Duisburg on Sunday with two Martina Müller goals. However, third-placed Wolfsburg remain two points behind leaders 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam, who warmed up for facing MTK Hungária FC with a 3-2 win at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.
Olympique Lyonnais secured their 50th straight domestic victory on Sunday but it was far from straightforward. Facing winless Arras CFC, Lyon were being held 1-1 with ten minutes left when Lara Dickenmann and Laëtitia Tonazzi found the target, and they were even pegged back to 3-2 late on, making it their narrowest home league success since January 2012. Lyon face FC Twente in their tie while Paris Saint-Germain FC, ahead of their Tyresö trip, bounded back from their 3-0 home loss to the leaders last week and stayed within three points with a 2-1 comeback win at Montpellier Hérault SC.
Both contenders suffered defeats on Thursday. With Ryazan-VDV perfect at the top after nine games, FK Zorkiy Krasnogorsk and FC Rossiyanka are now respectively nine and 11 points adrift. Zorkiy lost 3-2 at home to ShVSM-Izmaylovo Moskva as they prepare to play deposed Icelandic champions Thór/KA and Rossiyanka fell 1-0 at WFC Zvezda 2005 Perm as they go to ŽFK Spartak Subotica.
There are tough European games ahead in midweek for FC Twente and Standard Femina de Liège as they continue the second season of the joint BeNe League, and the first where the two nations' teams have been mixed in from the start. Reigning champions Twente, limbering up for Lyon, won 4-0 at lowly PEC Zwolle last Tuesday though, with no game on Friday, lost the lead that night to sc Heerenveen. Standard are fifth following a 3-1 victory at FC Utrecht as they take on a team that beat Twente in the UEFA Women's Champions League qualifying round, Glasgow.
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