English women’s football ‘exploding’ after week of Champions League drama


Barcelona, who will face Chelsea in the last four, still appear most likely to win the Champions League this season but even the Spanish club’s success offers the English game some positivity, with Lionesses Lucy Bronze and Keira Walsh both key members of the side that have won all 23 of their league games so far this term, scoring 99 goals and conceding just five.

Barcelona’s dominance of their domestic league also contrasts to the WSL, however; in the English top flight four teams are firmly in the title race.

Arsenal manager Jonas Eidevall, speaking ahead of his team hosting title rivals Manchester City on Sunday, said the strength of the English league is like nothing else in Europe, adding: “Manchester United and Manchester City have played incredibly well, and they also have the quality to go extremely far in Europe. And to speak of only four teams might be a mistake [because of] the football Aston Villa is producing.

“It’s great for the league. This is what no other European country will have at this moment, to have a league with so much competition, so much drama and so much entertainment. That can be a driving force for financial investment to get the best players in Europe coming here to play.”

By the end of this season, the single best club in Europe might not be English but, with the Lionesses unbeaten in nearly two years and with a World Cup on the horizon, there is plenty of cause for optimism.

Before then, the Women’s Champions League two-legged semi-finals will each take place over two weekends at the end of April. Arsenal will first travel to Wolfsburg while Chelsea host Barcelona, on the weekend of April 22. Then Chelsea will travel to Camp Nou on the weekend of April 29, with Arsenal hosting Wolfsburg at the Emirates on Bank Holiday Monday, May 1. The north Londoners sold more than 10,000 tickets in less than 48 hours.