Our Champions League journey sadly came to an end on Monday night after a fiercely-contested semi-final second leg ended 3-2 against Wolfsburg at Emirates Stadium.
Playing in-front of a recording-breaking sell-out crowd of 60,063, Jonas Eidevall’s side delivered a spirited team performance from start to finish, but it wasn’t enough to book our place in the final as Wolfsburg scored deep into extra time.
The first half kicked off with an early shout for a Wolfsburg penalty after Lotte Wubben-Moy looked to have handled the ball inside the area, but the claims were eventually dismissed after a lengthy VAR check.
We then went on to open the scoring shortly after and take the lead in the tie as a searching Lia Walti pass snuck past the Wolfsburg defence and tempted Merle Frohms off her line, allowing Stina Blackstenius to get first touch and race through on goal to fire home from close range.
Another chance arrived at the 30 minute mark when a hard push for possession saw Blackstenius find space inside the penalty and force a save from Frohms.
Defending well in all phases of play, we looked set to go into the break with a one-goal lead, but following a Wolfsburg set-piece the ball dropped to Jill Roord and the former Gunner tucked an equaliser beyond the reach of Manuela Zinsberger.
We almost made the perfect start to the second half with a beautiful team move finished off by Blackstenius, but it was sharply ruled out for offside after going to VAR review.
Wolfsburg then took the lead for the first time on the night shortly after the hour mark. Felicitas Rauch crossed into the penalty area from a corner and Pope was lurking at the near post to head past Zinsberger.
That didn't dent our confidence though and with 15 remaining Lotte Wubben-Moy and Jen Beattie combined inside the penalty area with the latter climbing high to head the ball into the bottom left corner, taking the tie to extra time.
Eidevall's side continued to push forward in search of a winner and came close with some promising attacking moves, but after battling so hard and fighting for every loose ball, we were punished deep into extra time after attempting to play out from the back. Wubben-Moy's pocket was picked by Jule Brand and Pauline Bremer was on hand to convert at the far post.
XI: Zinsberger, Wubben-Moy, Beattie (Agyemang 119), Rafaelle, Maritz (Wienroither 64, Kuhl (82), Walti, Maanum, Catley, McCabe, Blackstenius (Hurtig 64), Pelova
Subs not used: D'Angelo, Marckese, Goldie, Harbert, Reid
Copyright 2023 The Arsenal Football Club Limited. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.