Following a brief hiatus due to the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™ qualifiers, the action got underway once more in Europe’s top leagues. In England Birmingham suffered a painful defeat, while in Germany defending champions Wolfsburg continue to set the pace at the summit. On the other side of the world domestic duties were also in the spotlight, with Melbourne Victory and Western Sydney Wanderers staging a goal-fest in the Australian W-League.
Germany: Wolfsburg lead the way
Reigning champions VfL Wolfsburg are the early frontrunners in the Bundesliga on nine points after picking up three wins from as many games. On Sunday Die Wolfinnen comfortably beat Bayer Leverkusen 3-0 to go top of the standings on goal difference after a brace from Vanessa Bernauer and an Alexandra Popp effort secured the points for coach Ralf Kellermann’s side.
“We put in a fantastic display and controlled the game throughout,” said Kellermann afterwards. “We lacked a bit of determination in the final third in the first half, but on the whole the team did what I expected of them. Three victories without conceding a goal is a perfect way to start things off. It sets us up well for the coming weeks.”
Turbine Potsdam beat 1. FFC Frankfurt 2-1 at home in their top of the table encounter. Japan’s Asano Nagasato struck twice for the hosts at the Karl Liebknecht stadium, with Simone Laudehr replying for the visitors.
Elsewhere, Caroline Abbe, Vanessa Burki and Viktoria Schnaderbeck were all on target in Bayern Munich’s second victory of the season, a 3-0 win over TSG 1899 Hoffenheim that lifted the Bavarians to third in the standings. SC Freiburg recorded their first victory of the campaign thanks to a 2-0 triumph over MSV Duisburg.
Top three: VfL Wolfsburg, Turbine Potsdam (both on nine points), Bayern Munich (seven)
Australia: Melbourne Victory win eight-goal thriller
Defending champions Melbourne Victory picked up maximum points for the first time in the 2014/15 W-League season following a 5-3 victory over Western Sydney Wanderers. Goals from Amy Jackson, Lisa de Vanna, Gulcan Koca and a Racheal Quigley brace ensured Melbourne were celebrating come the final whistle. Keelin Winters found the net twice for the Wanderers, while Michelle Carney grabbed the other.
The win was not enough to hand Melbourne top spot, however. That place is currently occupied by Canberra United, whose 1-0 triumph over Adelaide United was their second successive victory. They are joined at the summit by Sydney FC and Perth Glory after each likewise picked up a second win of the season, with both posting 2-1 scorelines against Brisbane Roar and Newcastle Jets respectively.
Top three: Canberra United, Sydney FC, Perth Glory (all on six points)
England: Disappointment for City
Birmingham City succumbed to a painful reverse as the championship race gathered pace, losing 2-1 to Liverpool and slipping down to third in the table. "Realistically now, Champions League football is probably what we have to aim for,” said coach David Parker. “But full credit to Liverpool. They and Chelsea will probably battle it out now. We’ll see what the future brings but it probably doesn’t look destined to be our title at this moment in time.” The defeat allowed Liverpool to overtake Birmingham and move to within a point of Chelsea, who lost 1-0 to Notts County.
Top three: Chelsea Ladies (23), Liverpool Ladies (22), Birmingham City Ladies (21)
Sweden: Rosengard pull further away
After almost a fortnight’s break the action resumed in the Damallsvenskan, where FC Rosengard took a huge step towards the title thanks to a 4-0 win away to Eskilstuna United. A double from German international Anja Mittag took her top of the goalscorers’ chart with 20 for the season, while efforts from Kirsten van de Ven and Switzerland’s Ramona Bachmann - who took her own tally to nine - completed the victory. On Thursday there will be an intriguing match between the top two when Rosengard travel to Goteborg.
Top three: FC Rosengard (45), Goteborg FC (33), Linkopings FC (33)
– Pauline Courtois leads after first day
World Weightlifting Championships