Post-Match Report

Report: Arsenal Women 3-3 Paris FC (2-4 on pens)

Cloe Lacasse takes on Margaux Le Mouel in the UWCL qualifiers

Paris FC -

Bilbörsen Arena
UEFA Women's Champions League
UEFA Women's Champions League
  Arsenal Women
Arsenal Women
3 3
  Paris FC
Paris FC
Lost 2-4 on penalties

It was heartbreak for our Gunners in Sweden as we were defeated by Paris FC on penalties in the UEFA Women's Champions League qualifiers. 

Alessia Russo bagged her first two goals in Arsenal colours in style as Jen Beattie scored yet another dramatic equaliser in the dying embers of stoppage time, but it wasn't enough to secure a result and our Champions League dreams are over for another year. 

What happened

Eidevall made just two changes to the side that saw off Linkoping on Wednesday, with Stina Blackstenius and Steph Catley returning to the starting lineup. 

We started aggressively, with Frida Maanum’s powerful strike forcing a good save from Nnaodzie and Lotte Wubben-Moy hitting the post from a corner - all in the opening six minutes.

Summer signing Cloe Lacasse made her second consecutive start down the right flank and impressed once again with her dynamic 1v1 play. In the 23rd minute, the Canadian played a perfectly weighted through ball to Blackstenius whose shot was kept out by the Paris FC keeper. 

Paris’ compact structure frustrated our Gunners throughout the first half and our central defensive partnership, Amanda Ilestedt and Lotte Wubben-Moy, did well to clear the danger whenever the French side countered. 

It remained goalless as the two sides went down the tunnel for half-time and a big second-half performance was required from our Gunners. 

We came out sharper in the second with Maanum coming very close from a tight angle, but it would be the French side who would break the deadlock. 

Paris struck twice inexplicably quickly - the first coming from a fluke cross that beat Manuela Zinsberger and the second straight from the restart as Mathilde Bourdieu went one-on-one with Zinsberger and slotted home.

Eidevall then made a quadruple substitution as Alessia Russo, Katie McCabe, Victoria Pelova and Lina Hurtig all came off the bench to try and force a 

It was new arrival Russo who gave us a lifeline in the 79th minute. Our centre-forward capitalised on Sissoko's hesitation in her own penalty area and poached the ball, curling the ball past Nnaodzie to make it 2-1.

As the minutes agonisingly ticked by, Jen Beattie's introduction deep into stoppage time was the game-changer. Our club legend was moved up top just as she was during our home semi-final against Wolfsburg and just like that game, she delivered. 

A header in the dying minutes of added time sent our bench into raptures and sent the narrow clash to extra-time.

We started the first period of extra time with guts and creativity. Pelova came exceptionally close to giving us the lead for the first time as she danced through defenders in the penalty area and released a shot that just went wide of the target.

Paris struck with a dagger blow immediately in the second period of extra time, but all it took was a slice of Russo magic to bring us level once more.

Our number 23 drove across the goal before letting rip with a sensational strike into the left-hand corner. 

The game went inevitably to penalties

What it means

Our defeat in the round 1 final means we will no longer have the chance to vie for Champions League glory after coming so close last season.

The focus turns to our Women's Super League opener against Liverpool on October 1 at Emirates Stadium where tickets are still available. 

Team news

Arsenal starting XI: Zinsberger (GK), Maritz (McCabe, 59), Wubben-Moy, Ilestedt (Beattie, 90), Catley (Kuhl, 111), Walti (Pelova, 59), Little, Maanum, Lacasse, Foord (Hurtig, 59), Blackstenius (Russo, 59)

Subs: D'Angelo (GK), Williams (GK), Mead, Gio, Lia

Paris FC starting XI: Nnaodzie (GK), Bogaert (Abdullina, 80), Greboval, Sissoko (Ould Hocine, 93), Soyer, Korosec (Corboz, 63), Thiney (C), Le Mouel (Ndongala, 105), Mateo, Dufour (Ribadeira, 77), Bourdieu (Fleury, 77)

Subs: Marques (GK), Demarest Pouplet (GK), Hunter, Sidibe

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