Arsenal 2-0 Bayern Munich: Frieda Mannum from 20 yards STUNNER and Lina Blackstenius from close range lead Arsenal into the Champions League last four after the return leg
- Arsenal’s Kim Little was taken off with an injury after just 12 minutes of action
Arsenal produced a stunning performance to reach their first Champions League semi-final in 10 years with a 2-0 victory over Bayern Munich last night.
Arsenal had trailed 1-0 from the first leg but goals from Frida Mannum and Stina Plakstenius turned the deficit in front of 21,307 fans at the Emirates – an English record for a European match.
Arsenal, the only English team to ever win the Women’s Championship, fell at the quarter-final stage in their last three seasons but will now face Wolfsburg or Paris Saint-Germain for a place in the final.
Jonas Idival had said before the game that his team, on their day, could beat anyone and they put in their best performance of the season here.
They did what they failed to do at Allianz last week – put the ball in the net. Arsenal should have at least got a draw from the first leg but missed many amazing chances.
Frieda Mannum allowed a 20-yard volley in a first try to give Arsenal an early 1-0 lead
Then Stina Plakstenius headed home from close range to double the lead inside 26 minutes
Arsenal completed the second leg cycle and reached the last four after defeating Bayern Munich
While the Emirates scoreline should have been bigger, it was clinical enough to progress.
The result could be season-defining for Arsenal, who take on Manchester City in a crucial contest for the top of the Women’s Premier League this weekend.
The opening goal was Arsenal at their attacking best but it came after a moment that could have derailed their hopes. In the 12th minute, Captain Kim Little was forced off with an injury.
The loss of their captain usually weakens Arsenal’s attacking threat. But the forced substitution meant that Lute Woopen Moi entered the centre-back position and Lea Williamson switched to midfield and it was her creativity that sent Arsenal ahead.
Bayern gave the ball away near their own penalty area. Lea Walty passed to Williamson, who played the divine Johan Cruyff-esque through Mannum, who volleyed a superb shot into the top left corner.
Lionesses star Georgia Stanaway found her influence constrained at the Emirates Stadium
Lea Williamson inherited the captaincy after regular captain Kim Little was injured
Arsenal were flying and the second goal came after seven minutes. Viktoria Belova’s cross found Katie McCabe and the left-back sent home a fine cross for Plaxtenius.
Williamson should have made it 3-0 when she slotted in at the back post to meet a Kaitlin Forward cross, but the defender could only get past the bar. Blackstenius then sent another effort wide as the Gunners tried to extend their lead.
Arsenal’s dominance should have delivered a third goal before half-time, as Blackstenios and Mannum both saw shots from close range saved in front of the line.
More chances went begging as María Luisa Grohs made a great save to deflect Plaxtenius’ header before Wubben-Moy hit the bar with a cross.
Arsenal (4-3-3): Zinsberger, Maritz, Williamson, Rafael, McCabe (Hortig 89), Which, Little (Wubben-Moy 12), Mannum, Belova (Weinreuther 77), Plaxtenius (Betty 89) Four.
Unused subs: D’Angelo, Marckese, Wubben-Moy, Beattie, Hurtig, Kühl, Wienroither, Goldie, Agyemang, and Reid.
Booked: Wubben-Moy, Rafaelle, Maritz and Eidevall
Goals: Maanum 19, Blackstenius 26
Director: Jonas Edvall
Bayern Munich (4-3-3): Gross, Rall (Laurent 80), Vigusdottir, Kumagai, Hansen, Zadrazel (Le Mans 80), Majol (Rodelik 89), Stanway, Paul, Schuller (Wilhejalmsdottir 89), Kit (Damanjanovic 64) .
Unused submarines: Benkarth, Runarsdottir, Bragstad, Landenberger, Gloning, Rudelic
Booked: Kate, Damnjanovich, Stanway
Director: Alexander Strauss
Referee: Marta Huerta de Aza
The hosts continued to create the better chances in the second half. First, McCabe shot wide from inside the penalty area.
Foord should then have ended the game when it found itself 1v1 with Grohs, but the striker could only fire a shot over the crossbar.
There was some anxiety in the closing minutes as McCabe picked up what appeared to be a leg injury, but it didn’t dampen Edvall and his full-time side’s celebrations.
Chelsea hopes to follow in Arsenal’s footsteps when they face defending champions Lyon tomorrow night. The Blues are 1-0 up from last week’s win in France.