Lotte Wubben-Moy equalised in the 89th minute to cancel out Tabea Wassmuth's opener in this enthralling quarter-final first leg.
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A late strike from Lotte Wubben-Moy handed Arsenal a deserved draw in their UEFA Women's Champions League quarter-final opener with Wolfsburg, just as it seemed competition top scorer Tabea Wassmuth would give the two-time title winners a lead to take back to Germany.Match as it happened
Match in brief: Arsenal leave it late
Arsenal went close early on with January signing Stina Blackstenius sending Beth Mead through to shoot just wide. That home pressure failed to deliver, however, and it was Wolfsburg who struck the first blow. Manuela Zinsberger saved an initial effort from Wassmuth, but seconds later the competition top scorer claimed her ninth of the campaign as she headed in Joelle Wedemeyer's high cross.
Arsenal responded well and turned up the temperature on Almuth Schult's goal, though Alex Popp nearly headed a second for the visitors. Blackstenius then fired narrowly wide after the interval, yet Wolfsburg's threat on the counter remained – and, just past the hour, Wassmuth hit the post before Zinsberger turned an effort from former Gunner Jill Roord onto the woodwork.
Arsenal seemed to be running out of time. Instead, they finally conjured a goal, Wubben-Moy pouncing to equalise from substitute Tobin Heath's free-kick.
"Scored the goal and hit the post. Showed good movement to pose a threat in attack."
UEFA Technical Observer panel
Samantha Miller, match reporter: Wolfsburg opened the scoring and looked dangerous going forward, but Arsenal were able to get the late equaliser that they were desperately chasing. It seemed like Arsenal would score with the amount of chances they were creating and the belief they showed to keep pushing – and it was a fantastic equaliser from Wubben-Moy. Arsenal were able to nullify Wolfsburg's threats and sought to create danger frequently. And although the visitors' defence's appeared solid, the Gunners found a way to get the goal they deserved.
Paul Saffer, match reporter: Frustration turned to relief for the Gunners. That equaliser gives Arsenal every chance of going through at VfL Wolfsburg Arena next Thursday, and their attacking play merited it, although the visitors were as strong on the counter as home manager Jonas Eidevall had warned. Wassmuth just can't stop scoring in this competition!
Jonas Eidevall, Arsenal manager: "It was a very good finish, a very special moment for [youth product Wubben-Moy] to come to this stadium and score a very important goal like this. You work with a player every day and she gets to live a moment like this – it's a special moment. In football, sometimes there are bad times, and sometimes there are good times like that."
Leah Williamson, Arsenal defender: "I think we definitely deserved something out of the game. I'd have been very disappointed if we'd come away without at least a draw."
Tommy Stroot, Wolfsburg coach: "Of course it hurts to concede an equaliser so late, but Arsenal had chances and could have scored one earlier."
Tabea Wassmuth, Wolfsburg goalscorer and Visa Player of the Match: "We are disappointed as we had chances to make it 2-0. But there is the second leg to play back home and we'll be ready for it."
- Alex Popp made her 82nd appearance in this competition, moving ahead of Camille Abily in second place on the all-time list (behind Lyon's Wendie Renard on 98).
- Wolfsburg equalled Frankfurt's German record of 78 games in this competition.
- Wassmuth restored her two-goal advantage in the top scorer race; she is now up to nine.
Arsenal: Zinsberger; Wubben-Moy, Williamson, Catley; Maritz, Little, Wälti, Miedema, McCabe (Heath 76); Blackstenius (Maanum 83), Mead (Parris 83)
Wolfsburg: Schult; Wedemeyer, Hendrich, Janssen, Rauch; Oberdorf (Blomqvist 90), Popp; Wassmuth (Jónsdóttir 78), Lattwein, Huth; Roord (Bremer 78)
The second leg will be played at VfL Wolfsburg Arena on Thursday 31 March at 18:45 CET. The winners face Real Madrid or Barcelona in the semi-finals on 23/24 April and 30 April/1 May.