Women’s Champions League, the best match of the group stage | UEFA Women’s Champions League
The group stage of the 2022/23 UEFA Women’s Champions League brought us surprises and spectacular comebacks.
UEFA.com picks six matches that have thrilled us. Vote for your favorite.
19/10/2022, Group C, 1st matchday
The opening night of the group stage caused a sensation as Lyon began their title defense with the biggest European defeat in their history.
Caitlin Foord and Friday Maanum gave Arsenal a two-goal lead in the 23rd minute and, although Melvine Malard quickly narrowed the score, a Beth Mead free-kick made it 3-1 at half-time. Foord and Mead scored again midway through the second half. It was the first time since FC Lyon became Olympique Lyonnais in 2004 that they have conceded five goals at home.
The Lyonnaises got their revenge with a 1-0 win at Arsenal, which allowed them through, but the Gunneuses still finished top of Group C.
26/10/2022, Group B, 2nd day
Roma, who qualified for the group stage in their highly anticipated European debut, beat Slavia Prague 1-0 on Matchday 1 but looked set for defeat in Austria when Rita Schumacher gave them a two-goal lead in St. Pölten immediately after half-time, adding to the score after a Jasmin Eder penalty.
The score was still 2-0 with 15 minutes remaining, but Elena Linari, Valentina Giacinti, Manuela Giugliano and Paloma Lázaro turned the tables, although there was still time for Mária Mikolajová to close the gap.
This result would have been very important to qualify Roma.
27/10/2022, Group D, 2nd day
The brace was the theme of the second day. Bayern had already turned the tide by beating Rosengård 2-1, but were behind after an hour at Benfica with two goals from Nycole Rysla and Cloé Lacasse. Bayern, who surprisingly drew 0-0 at Benfica in the 2021/22 group stage, returned to the game with a Maximiliane Rall header, but Benfica still looked as if they had every chance of recovering from their early defeat to 9-0 against Barcelona in great style.
However, with seven minutes remaining, Georgia Stanway scored her first goal for Bayern with a long-range strike. Benfica then secured a penalty but Maria-Luisa Grohs brilliantly parried Ana Vitória’s attempt and, eight minutes into added time, Stanway scored the winning goal with a strike from 20 metres.
07/12/2022, Group D, 4th matchday
This time it was Bayern who found themselves 2-0 up against Barcelona and within ten minutes of Klara Bühl and Lina Magull, to the delight of a record crowd of 24,000 in Munich. Bayern then showed their solidity against a Barcelona side who beat them 3-0 two weeks earlier in front of 46,967 people at the Camp Nou.
On the hour, the score was 3-0 for Bayern thanks to a header from Lea Schüller. Five minutes later, Geyse narrowed the score. Even though Bayern won, Barcelona maintained a goal difference lead over the German side, who were expected to decide first place in Group D.
16/12/2022, Group A, 5th matchday
Paris and Madrid both exited the same group last season, but this time the two found themselves in a group with a Chelsea determined to redeem themselves from their surprise exit at this stage 12 months earlier. Chelsea started with a 1-0 win in Paris, then took four points from Real Madrid, turning the encounter at the Parc des Princes almost into a knockout match.
Real trailing by two goals on the hour, Elisa De Almeida’s header from Elisa De Almeida early in the game was followed by a Kadidiatou Diani penalty. Real Madrid had hit two woodwork early in the second half and returned to the game with nine minutes remaining thanks to substitute Claudia Zornoza. A draw would have kept Real in the running, but Paris held on.
22/12/2022, 6th day
After winning 1-0 in Paris at the start of the season, Chelsea repeated at Stamford Bridge in front of a record home crowd in Europe to finish the group stage with a total of 16 points, well away from exiting at surprise of 2021. .
Sam Kerr opened the scoring brilliantly and then, in the second half, Lauren James scored the first two goals of her UEFA Women’s Champions League career.