Women's Champions League

Women's Champions League (10)

Television coverage of the Women’s Champions League will move largely behind a paywall from next season, the rights holder DAZN has announced.

The group, which has broadcast the competition exclusively on its YouTube channel since 2021, said in a press release that it plans to include 42 of the competition’s 61 matches as part of a subscription package, with the other 19, including the final, remaining free to view.

Twelve group-stage matches as well as four from the (two-legged) quarter-finals and two from the semi-finals will also be available free on DAZN’s online platform, with the rest requiring viewers to pay £9.99 a month to watch.

The news comes as DAZN announced the findings of an investigation analysing the reach of its women’s football coverage.

The group reported that the Women’s Champions League is watched in more than 230 countries, with 362,000 subscribers to its platform.

The final of last season’s competition between Barcelona and Lyon was watched by 3.6million viewers across the broadcaster’s online and TV platforms.

DAZN’s global markets CEO Veronica Diquattro said: “We want to help the women’s game realise its potential, by reaching audiences and by developing its obvious commercial appeal to create a virtuous circle of investment, growth, raising standards and overall interest.”

Arsenal’s dream of reaching a first Women’s Champions League final since their 2007 triumph came to an end after Pauline Bremer’s extra-time goal saw Wolfsburg beat the Gunners 5-4 on aggregate.

The hosts opened the scoring through Stina Blackstenius in front of 60,063 at the Emirates – a record for a women’s club game in this country – but the strike was cancelled out by former Gunner Jill Roord before half-time.

Wolfsburg skipper Alexandra Popp pulled the visitors ahead after the restart before Jen Beattie’s equaliser forced extra time.

Katie McCabe came inches away when she pinged an effort off the crossbar, but it was the two-time Champions League winners who found the finishing touch to win 3-2 after extra time on the night and book their place in the June 3 Eindhoven final.

Arsenal, who drew 2-2 with the Frauen-Bundesliga side in the first leg, had never beaten their German opponents, who knocked the Gunners out at the quarter-final stage last year.

VAR was called into play inside the first three minutes for a potential Lotte Wubben-Moy handball, the Gunners dodging danger after an offside was eventually ruled.

It was not long before the technology once again ruled in the hosts’ favour, this time as Blackstenius, making her 50th appearance for Arsenal, latched on to Lia Walti’s long ball, skipped over her toppling challenger and finished low into the bottom right of the net, the goal standing after another review.

The visitors remained largely unfazed and enjoyed the possession advantage in the opening period, Lynn Wilms forcing Manuela Zinsberger into a good save before Roord sent an effort wide.

Blackstenius had a chance to make it two when Wolfsburg’s attempt to clear instead ricocheted back into the path of the Arsenal forward, who pivoted but could only fire squarely into the awaiting arms of Merle Frohms.

But it was all square at half-time after Noelle Maritz was booked for her challenge on Wolfsburg skipper Popp to win the visitors a free-kick inside Arsenal’s half.

Popp rose to nod Svenja Huth’s delivery in the direction of former Gunner Roord, who ensured it was all to play for after the break when she brought the ball down with her chest at the edge of the area before bouncing it past Zinsberger with her left foot.

Blackstenius thought she had made it two moments after the restart but another call to VAR saw it chalked off for offside before the Gunners survived a sustained wave of attack from the visitors.

Wolfsburg took the lead in the  58th minute when Popp connected with Felicitas Rauch’s corner and swiftly nodded past the near post.

It took an excellent tackle from Wubben-Moy to break up Ewa Pajor’s dangerous run at the edge of the six-yard box and prevent her side from falling further behind, then providing the lofted delivery for Beattie to head home for the equaliser in the 75th minute.

Celebrations were quickly subdued as Laura Wienroither became the latest name added to Jonas Eidevall’s growing list of injuries when she was stretchered off the pitch after a twisting fall.

Zinsberger picked Sveindis Jonsdottir’s effort out of the air in stoppage time to ensure another 30 minutes would be played, substitute Lina Hurtig coming close for the hosts in the first half with a close-range effort to force Frohms into a quick stooping save before Wolfsburg substitute Bremer sent an effort just wide.

McCabe rattled the bar, but it was the visitors who got the winner after Wubben-Moy was dispossessed by Jule Brand, who squared to Bremer for the winner.

Chelsea stopped Barcelona winning a home match for the first time in four years but fell short of a place in the Champions League final.

Guro Reiten’s second-half goal at the Nou Camp secured a 1-1 draw for Emma Hayes’ side and they pushed for a winner on the night but it was the Catalans who claimed a 2-1 victory on aggregate.

Barcelona have won 60 straight domestic matches at home dating back to February 2019, while the last time they did not win a Champions League match on home soil was against Lyon back in 2018.

Going into the clash having lost the home leg meant Hayes’ side, who were beaten 4-0 by Barca in their maiden final two years ago, faced a majorly uphill battle.

They were again without first-choice centre-back pairing Millie Bright and Kadeisha Buchanan as well as Fran Kirby, while England defender Lucy Bronze missed out for Barcelona following knee surgery, but Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas was on the bench after 10 months out injured.

The hosts thought they had scored in the eighth minute as Chelsea’s defence hesitated but Graham Hansen handled the cross before poking the ball home.

For the rest of the first half Barca had the majority of possession and chances without really threatening to add to their lead – Asisat Oshoala and Maria Caldentey firing over from good openings.

Chelsea were just looking like they might offer some threat up front in the early stages of the second half when the hosts took the lead, 64 minutes in.

The influential Aitana Bonmati carried the ball to the edge of the box and slipped it to Graham Hansen, who scored her second goal of the tie despite the best efforts of Jess Carter on the line.

If that appeared to have ended the tie, Chelsea clawed their way back into it just three minutes later.

A fine tackle from Erin Cuthbert ended a Barca attack and Melanie Leupolz fed Sam Kerr, whose shot was saved by Sandra Panos only for Reiten to smash the ball in from the edge of the box.

Kerr had a couple of half openings as the visitors sought an unlikely winner but the clear chance did not come and Ann-Katrin Berger produced a fine save from Geyse to earn a draw on the night.

Barcelona move through to a third-straight final, where they will take on Arsenal or Wolfsburg in Eindhoven.

Chelsea boss Emma Hayes remains hopeful her side can turn the tide against Barcelona after a 1-0 defeat in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final.

Caroline Graham Hansen's fourth-minute strike settled the encounter at Stamford Bridge, leaving the Blues needing a victory in the return leg on Thursday.

After a shaky start, Chelsea responded by keeping their opponents at bay, a far cry from the last meeting between the two sides in the 2021 final, where Barcelona were four ahead after 36 minutes.

As such, Hayes was encouraged by her side's defensive display and remains hopeful for the return fixture.

"Barcelona are an amazing team. We had a disappointing start. But we grew into the first half, scored a goal that was offside, and we need to be perfect to beat these guys," she said.

"In the second half we needed to be better on the ball in the right moments but I'm grateful to be in a position where the tie wasn't over after 36 minutes. I see that as progress.

"You have to suffer. You have to be without the ball. One switch off and positional error cost us the goal.

"They have different threats. I think we limited them to as few chances as we possibly could and I'll take that going into the next game."

Barcelona defender Lucy Bronze was forced off through injury in the second half, a cause of major concern for England given Friday's announcement captain Leah Williamson would miss the World Cup with an ACL injury.

However, boss Jonatan Giraldez allayed those fears as he said after the game "the feeling is really good" for Bronze and her exit was precautionary.

Chelsea sealed a dramatic penalty shoot-out win over Lyon to reach the semi-finals of the Women's Champions League, having rescued the tie through Maren Mjelde's last-gasp spot-kick in extra-time.

Despite winning last week's first leg 1-0, Chelsea appeared destined for an exit when Sara Dabritz drilled into the bottom-right corner in extra time after Venessa Gilles' flick had levelled the tie.

However, a trip on Lauren James gave Mjelde the chance to keep the game alive at the last, and the Norwegian made no mistake eight minutes into stoppage time, taking the contest to a shoot-out.

James and Wendie Renard both saw their kicks saved before Jess Carter converted, meaning Lyon's Lindsey Horan had to score to keep the holders in the competition.

Chelsea's Ann-Katrin Berger got down to her right to palm Horan's weak kick away, ensuring the Blues teed up an enticing semi-final tie against Barcelona – who beat Emma Hayes' team 4-0 in the 2021 final.

Earlier on Thursday, two-time champions Wolfsburg clinched a 1-1 draw at home to Paris Saint-Germain, recording a 2-1 aggregate success to set up a semi-final tie with Arsenal.

Having taken a first-leg lead through Dominique Janssen's penalty in the French capital last week, Wolfsburg found themselves with a two-goal cushion when Alexandra Popp fired home from outside the area 20 minutes in.

That strike came somewhat against the run of play after Kadidiatou Diani had an effort chalked off for offside, but there was no denying the forward when she nodded in on the half-hour mark.

Wolfsburg improved after the break and missed several chances to make the tie safe, but it was of little consequence as PSG failed to find a crucial second goal.

Salma Paralluelo scored the only goal of the game as Barcelona edged Roma 1-0 at the Stadio Olimpico in the quarter-finals of the Women's Champions League.

The 19-year-old curled a left-footed effort from outside the box to beat Camelia Ceasar after 34 minutes, after the Roma goalkeeper had frustrated the visitors with a number of fine saves.

Last season's runners-up could not extend their advantage in the second half, while Roma failed to convert a number of chances in the latter stages to pull the tie level.


It's advantage Barcelona after a narrow win in Rome #UWCL

— UEFA Women’s Champions League (@UWCL) March 21, 2023

Elsewhere, Arsenal were frustrated at Allianz Arena by Bayern Munich and suffered a 1-0 loss despite dominating proceedings.

The Gunners saw efforts from Stina Blackstenius and Leah Williamson cleared off the line as they peppered the hosts' goal with 25 shots – though only six were on target.

Lea Schuller's 39th-minute header proved decisive, with Jonas Eidevall's side needing a turnaround in the second leg if they are to reach the semi-finals for the first time in a decade.

Barcelona seized control of Group D in the Women's Champions League by thrashing Bayern Munich 3-0 in front of a crowd of 46,967 – a new group-stage record.

Second-half goals from Geyse, Aitana Bonmati and Claudia Pina helped Jonatan Giraldez's team maintain their perfect record in the competition on Thursday, as well as ending that of Bayern.

The Camp Nou crowd – which surpassed the competition's previous group-stage record of 18,341 by a considerable margin – had to remain patient for the opener, but the Blaugrana were good value for their win after Brazil international Geyse broke the deadlock.

The result moved Barca three points clear of their opponents as well as maintaining their six-point advantage over Benfica, who beat Rosengard 1-0 courtesy of Cloe Lacasse's goal.

Meanwhile, Arsenal maintained their narrow lead at the top of Group C with a 1-1 draw against Juventus, who remain two points behind the Gunners after surrendering a second-half lead.

Lineth Beerensteyn put the hosts ahead shortly after the break, but fellow Netherlands international Vivianne Miedema nodded home from a corner nine minutes later to keep the visitors top.

Reigning champions Lyon also remain in fierce contention for a quarter-final spot after cruising to a 3-0 win at Zurich, moving them to within a point of second-placed Juve.

Signe Bruun added two goals after Melvine Malard headed in an early opener, helping the eight-time champions to their first Champions League win of the season.

Goals from Sophie Ingle and Erin Cuthbert put Chelsea on the verge of qualification from Group A of the Women's Champions League as they beat Real Madrid 2-0 on Wednesday.

A drab contest at Kingsmeadow came to life after 67 minutes as Ingle got on the end of a Millie Bright flick from a corner to head home, before Cuthbert's cross from the right flew straight in past the helpless Misa Rodriguez to double the hosts' advantage just four minutes later.

The win means Chelsea maintain their 100 per cent record from three games, sitting five points ahead of Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain, who thrashed Vllaznia 5-0 to record their first victory of the campaign.

PSG eased to the win against their Albanian opponents thanks to goals from Grace Geyoro, a Matilda Gjergji own goal, a Ramona Bachmann penalty, Sandy Baltimore and substitute Magnaba Folquet.

In Group B, Roma took an early lead against Wolfsburg through Valentina Giacinti, before Ewa Pajor equalised for the visitors – her fourth Champions League goal in three games – to share the spoils.

St. Polten won their first points of this year's competition with a hard-fought 1-0 win at Slavia Prague, with Maria Mikolajova scoring a sensational 91st-minute winner for the Austrians.

"I decided to shoot at the very last moment," Mikolajova said after the game. "I was thinking about passing the ball, but made the right decision. It is hard to describe how I felt when the ball went in because it's a very important win."

That leaves Slavia Prague bottom with zero points, three behind St. Polten, while Wolfsburg and Roma remain clear at the top with seven each at the halfway point of the group stage.

Sam Kerr scored four goals as Chelsea crushed Vllaznia 8-0 in the Women's Champions League on Wednesday, maintaining their perfect start in Group A.

Pernille Harder also struck a hat-trick and Katerina Svitkova headed home late on as the Blues followed up last week's impressive win over Paris Saint-Germain with a dominant display at Kingsmeadow.

Kerr needed just an hour to hit the net four times, finishing from close range on three occasions as well as converting Guro Reiten's corner with a towering header. 

Chelsea now hold a two-point advantage at the top of their group after Real Madrid played out a lively 0-0 draw with Paris Saint-Germain at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano.

In Group B, Wolfsburg recorded their second win in as many games as goals from Jule Brand and Ewa Pajor helped them to a 2-0 success against Slavia Prague.

However, the two-time Champions League winners look set to be pushed all the way by tournament debutants Roma after they triumphed 4-3 in a remarkable meeting with St. Polten.

Alessandro Spugna's Giallorosse were 2-0 down with 15 minutes to play, but held firm after goals from Elena Linari, Valentina Giacinti, Manuela Giugliano and Paloma Lazaro turned the contest around to move onto six points.

Chelsea got their Women's Champions League campaign off to a winning start against last season's semi-finalists Paris Saint-Germain on Thursday.

The Blues, under the caretaker guidance of Denise Reddy amid Emma Hayes' medical absence, beat the two-time finalists at the Stade Jean-Bouin thanks to Millie Bright's first-half volley in a 1-0 triumph.

The England international turned Erin Cuthbert's looping cross home with an impressive touch just under half-an-hour in, before turning in an impressive defensive performance to frustrate the hosts in Group A.

They were joined by Real Madrid in victory, as the Spanish side claimed a comfortable 2-0 win on the road against Albanian outfit Vllaznia, thanks to goals from Esther Gonzalez and Olga Carmona.

Italy forward Valentina Giacinti meanwhile gave tournament debutants Roma a bright start to life in Europe's top club competition after her effort saw the hosts pick up a 1-0 win over Slavia Prague in Latina in Group B.

Wolfsburg also kicked off with three points, inflicting the heaviest defeat of the night on St. Polten with a 4-0 victory driven by Ewa Pajor's double inside the opening quarter-hour.

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