Match preview

UWCL preview: Arsenal Women v VfL Wolfsburg

UWCL. Arsenal Women v VfL Wolfsburg. Emirates Stadium. May 1, 2023

It's set to be a historic night in N7 as we face VfL Wolfsburg in the decisive second leg of the UEFA Women's Champions League semi-final and look to smash our previous attendance record at Emirates Stadium in the process.

Victory in front of a home crowd on Monday evening would send us to Eindhoven for our first Champions League final since 2007 - the year we became the only English club to win the competition. The 2020/21 champions Barcelona will face the winner of this semi-final. 

Last time around

There is nothing between the two sides heading into the second leg following our gritty comeback at the Volkswagen Arena. 

The competition's top scorer this season, Ewa Pajor, put Wolfsburg ahead within the opening 20 minutes and Sveindis Jonsdottir doubled their advantage barely five minutes later. With a mountain to climb away from home, our Gunners dug deep as they have done time and time again this season.

First came Rafaelle's storming header at the back post to reduce the deficit just before half-time and spark some belief. Our squad came out firing after the break and the hard work was rewarded in the 69th minute. 

A defence-splitting pass from Lotte Wubben-Moy found Victoria Pelova's surging run and who better to score a goal in a big match than Stina Blackstenius? With the tie now 2-2 on aggregate, we'll be hoping that our home advantage will be the difference on Monday night, sending us into the final on June 3. 

What's at stake?

Emma Byrne, Mary Phillip, Rachel Yankey, Yvonne Tracy and Jayne Ludlow celebrate with the Women's UEFA Cup Trophy

After months of hard work, setbacks and comebacks, a Champions League final against Barcelona awaits the winner of the semi-final battle. 

We have yet to beat Wolfsburg in Europe and the German side have been a familiar source of heartbreak - knocking us out of the Champions League last season at the quarter-final stage and beating us 4-1 on aggregate the last time we met them in the Champions League semi-finals 10 years ago. In front of a sold-out Emirates Stadium with an unshakeable mindset, Monday is the perfect opportunity for a narrative to be rewritten.

As Chelsea were beaten narrowly by Barcelona across two legs, we remain the only English club to have ever won the Women's Champions League. Back in 2007, when the competition was still known as the UEFA Women's Cup, we emerged victorious over Umea IK across two legs thanks to a goal from Alex Scott. Club legend Julie Fleeting ended the campaign as the top scorer with nine goals. 

What the managers say

Jonas Eidevall speaks at the pre-match press conference

Eidevall: “It’s astonishing that it’s happening and we’re going to make our very best to repay all the faith put in us, but also to enjoy the moment. I think our fans have been nothing short of brilliant this season, absolutely magnificent, and if they can be just as magnificent tomorrow, that’s going to be a huge boost for the whole team.

“It’s about me and the players believing we can do it, and we’re going to put everything out there on the pitch. It’s one game that separates us from a dream, so let’s bring everything on the pitch and leave it there.” - hear more from Jonas

Stroot: “We’re ready for anything. There are going to be different periods in the game. A match like this can change at any moment with a goal for us or for our opponents. We’re prepared for quite a few scenarios, but we’ve already experienced many of them ourselves.

"That’s an advantage compared to last season. We’ve become more mature in terms of our principles and have more options when it comes to how we play. We’ve seen what it felt like to play against more passive opposition, but I’m sure we can take more initiative [on Monday] because we’ve been working on that in the last few days.” 

Team news

Lina Hurtig celebrates scoring against FC Zurich

In a season dominated by high-profile absences, Kim Little, Leah Williamson, Beth Mead and Vivianne Miedema will all be missing from the squad due to long-term injuries.

Lina Hurtig is available again following her foot injury but fellow forward Caitlin Foord is struggling with a hamstring issue.

For the visitors, Lena Lattwein and Katarzyna Kiedrzynek are the only players who aren’t available, while Alexandra Popp took part in Wolfsburg's final training session.

How to watch


All tickets to the game at Emirates Stadium now sold out, however for those supporting at home, we kick off in N7 at 5:45pm (UK).

All UWCL fixtures are free to stream on DAZN's Youtube channel wherever you are in the world.

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