Arsenal Women's UEFA Champions League. | Sportsmonks

Arsenal Women’s UEFA Champions League.

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“Heartbreak for Arsenal Women’s as Paris FC Triumph in UEFA Women’s Champions League Qualifiers”

In a nail-biting showdown in Sweden, Arsenal Women faced a heartbreaking defeat at the hands of Paris FC on penalties during the UEFA Women’s Champions League qualifiers. While Alessia Russo’s brilliant brace and a late Jen Beattie equalizer added drama to the match, it ultimately wasn’t enough to secure a spot in the Champions League for the Gunners this year.

Match Overview: A Battle of Determination

Arsenal Women, under the guidance of manager Jonas Eidevall, made just two changes to the lineup that previously defeated Linkoping. Stina Blackstenius and Steph Catley returned to the starting eleven, ready to face the challenge posed by Paris FC.

The Gunners started the match aggressively, with Frida Maanum unleashing a powerful strike early on, forcing a solid save from Paris FC’s goalkeeper. Moments later, Lotte Wubben-Moy came close to scoring with a header from a corner, but it struck the post.

Summer signing Cloe Lacasse, making her second consecutive start, showcased her impressive 1v1 skills down the right flank. In the 23rd minute, Lacasse delivered a perfectly timed through ball to Blackstenius, whose shot was denied by the Paris FC keeper.

Throughout the first half, Paris FC’s compact defensive structure frustrated Arsenal, with central defenders Amanda Ilestedt and Lotte Wubben-Moy working diligently to thwart any counterattacks.

The first half concluded with both teams scoreless, setting the stage for a crucial second half. Arsenal needed a big performance to advance.

However, it was Paris FC who managed to break the deadlock in the second half, scoring two goals in quick succession. The first goal came from an unexpected cross that eluded Arsenal’s goalkeeper, Manuela Zinsberger, while the second followed immediately after a restart as Mathilde Bourdieu netted one-on-one against Zinsberger.

In response, Jonas Eidevall made a quadruple substitution, bringing on Alessia Russo, Katie McCabe, Victoria Pelova, and Lina Hurtig in an attempt to turn the tide.

Alessia Russo, the new arrival, breathed life into Arsenal’s hopes with a goal in the 79th minute. She capitalized on Sissoko’s hesitation in her own penalty area, seizing the ball and curling it past the Paris FC goalkeeper to narrow the score to 2-1.

As the clock ticked away agonizingly, Jen Beattie, an Arsenal legend, was subbed in during stoppage time. In a moment reminiscent of their previous semi-final against Wolfsburg, Beattie’s header in added time sent the game into extra time.

Extra Time Drama and Penalties

The first period of extra time saw Arsenal Women displaying determination and creativity, with Victoria Pelova coming close to giving her team the lead, but her shot narrowly missed the target.

Paris FC struck back during the second period of extra time, seemingly sealing the victory. However, Alessia Russo’s magic came to the rescue once more as she unleashed a sensational strike into the left-hand corner, bringing Arsenal level again.

The thrilling match ultimately led to a penalty shootout, where Paris FC emerged victorious.

What’s Next for Arsenal Women?

With this defeat in the round 1 final of the UEFA Women’s Champions League qualifiers, Arsenal Women will have to bid farewell to their Champions League aspirations for this season. Their focus now shifts to the Women’s Super League opener against Liverpool, scheduled for October 1 at Emirates Stadium, where tickets are still available.


  • Arsenal starting XI: Zinsberger, Maritz, Wubben-Moy, Ilestedt, Catley, Walti, Little, Maanum, Lacasse, Foord, Blackstenius
  • Paris FC starting XI: Nnaodzie, Bogaert, Greboval, Sissoko, Soyer, Korosec, Thiney, Le Mouel, Mateo, Dufour, Bourdieu

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By- Sahiba Suri

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