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Arsenal and Tavagnacco take first-leg leads

Arsenal LFC cruised to a 4-0 away win and Italian newcomers UPC Tavagnacco earned an encouraging victory against FC Malmö as the final round of 32 first legs took place.

Tavagnacco celebrate Penelope Riboldi's opener in their 2-1 win against Malmö
Tavagnacco celebrate Penelope Riboldi's opener in their 2-1 win against Malmö ©Pierpaolo Gianfreda

Arsenal LFC and UPC Tavagnacco were the only winners on the night as the last four UEFA Women's Champions League round of 32 first legs were played.

European champions in 2007, at the weekend Arsenal completed the English treble and are aiming to better their semi-final run of last year. They began with a 4-0 win at Belarusian side FC Bobruichanka. Ellen White opened the scoring on nine minutes and after the break Jordan Nobbs extended the lead before substitute Jennifer Beattie made it three and Katie Chapman converted a late penalty.

The return is next Thursday, with Arsenal possibly to set up a round of 16 rematch with Rayo Vallecano de Madrid, who they beat at the same stage in the final minute last year. The Spanish side won their first leg 4-1 on Wednesday at PK-35 Vantaa.

While Arsenal have only ever missed one season of this competition, England's other entrants, Bristol Academy WFC, made their debut tonight, drawing 1-1 against Russian side FC Energiya Voronezh at Ashton Gate. Jessica Fishlock gave the home side a deserved lead on 76 minutes, but Pamela Conti equalised from the spot late on after Jemma Rose was dismissed for a handball on the goal line.

Semi-finalists on their only previous entry in 2003/04, FC Malmö lost 2-1 away against Tavagnacco. Penelope Riboldi and Elisa Camporese fired the Italian newcomers into a 2-0 lead after they weathered an early storm, but Nilla Fischer's late away goal gave last year's Swedish champions a foothold in the tie.

Valur Reykjavík, deprived of the Icelandic title this year, drew 1-1 at Glasgow City FC. Leanne Ross calmly put the Scottish side in front just after the quarter-hour, and while Hólmfrídur Magnúsdóttir hit the crossbar with a free-kick, the home side looked to be well on top until goalkeeper Claire Johnstone picked up a 59th-minute back pass. Laufey Ólafsdóttir finished from close range as Valur worked the resulting free-kick well.

There were previously two games on Tuesday and ten on Wednesday. All second legs are next Wednesday or Thursday. The draw for November's round of 16 is already made.

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