The Women’s Champions League made a comeback this week, with four intriguing quarter-final matches in the first leg.
El Clásico was the most striking draw, so does the history of the men’s side rivalry between Barcelona and Real Madrid – even though the latter’s women’s team is new to the scene.
The seven-time European champions faced Juventus, who had never advanced so far in continental competition, while the games between Bayern Munich and PSG, and Arsenal and Wolfsburg were extremely difficult to call.
Here’s what we learned from the latest round of European action…
Madrid’s blueprint for how to beat Barca
It was a surprise when Real Madrid took the lead against Barcelona on Tuesday evening, but it was also very well deserved.
There were only eight minutes on the clock when Olga Carmona scored El Clasico’s first goal, but the hosts pressed on and upset the reigning champions since the first whistle, forcing them to make mistakes and give an opponent a rare advantage. fell.
Barca eventually emerged victorious, scoring twice more through Claudia Pina and Alexia Putellas before a controversial penalty settled them.
But the Catalans were uncomfortable with the way Real didn’t give them the time they needed to dominate at their own pace.
This is something that will interest a lot of managers in Spain and Europe, as many try to figure out how to beat this all-conquering team.
Katoto deserves more respect
It’s been three years since Paris Saint-Germain star Marie-Antoinette Catoto established herself as a serious goalscorer, but it seems she still hasn’t received the praise she deserves.
At 21, he outclassed everyone in the French league, which was somewhat of a feat considering how influential his bigger rivals, Lyon, are both domestically and on the continent.
The next season, he did it again.
Last year, her 21 goals didn’t earn her the accolade of top scorer, but she helped PSG win their first league title for the women’s side.
On Tuesday, Katoto’s predatory instincts allowed the French club to leave Munich with an advantage, with the striker’s double in a 2-1 win over Bayern.
Having scored 137 goals for the club at the age of just 23, he is one of the best players in the world. She deserves to be recognized more times like this.
Wolfsburg’s liquidity a threat to any team
When Wolfsburg set up her game with Hoffenheim last weekend, Lena Latwin moved from a defensive midfield role to a more advanced position.
She scored twice and was the best player on the pitch as the Frauen-Bundesliga leaders won 3–0.
On Wednesday, head coach Tommy Strott revamped the team for a clash with Arsenal, with Alex Pope moving from midfield to the left wing.
For some teams, this truncating and positioning will affect their ability to be a cohesive unit.
For Wolfsburg, along with the quality of the options they have, it makes them more fluid, more unpredictable and more dangerous.
This level of versatility can upset either side.
Juve an example of change in Europe
Juventus’ clash with Lyon was a game that recently saw increased power against an established force – the first-time quarter-finalists against the seven-time Queens of Europe.
In the end, after an incredibly important example of their development with Juve 2-1 winners, the result served as a great example of how power is shifting on the continent.
While teams like Lyon and Wolfsburg have remained at the top of where they have been for the past 10 years, teams like Juventus and Real Madrid are coming up and now making a name for themselves as well.
For some, this is a pathetic idea, as smaller clubs with fewer resources are phased out by super-clubs.
However, it makes for interesting unpredictability across the board for the next few years of the women’s game, with teams today in these later tours that didn’t even exist five years ago.