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Jonsdottir impresses as Wolfsburg oust Arsenal

March 31, 2022

Wolfsburg ousted Arsenal to set up a mouthwatering Champions League semifinal with Barcelona, a repeat of the 2020 semifinal. Wolfsburg's star on the night was 20-year-old Icelandic forward Sveindis Jane Jonsdottir.

Sveindis Jane Jonsdottir celebrates Wolfsburg's second goal in the UEFA Women Champions League game against Arsenal
Sveindis Jane Jonsdottir was given her first start in the Champions League — she didn't disappoint.Image: IMAGO/foto2press

Wolfsburg 2-0 Arsenal, AOK Stadium
(Roord 9', Williamson og 73')
Wolfsburg win 3-1 on aggregate

Wolfsburg's Icelandic 20-year-old Sveindis Jane Jonsdottir announced herself on the biggest stage with a performance that inspired Wolfsburg to victory over Arsenal — sending the German club into the final four once again.

Their reward is a semifinal with Barcelona, a repeat of the 2020 semifinal which Wolfsburg won 1-0. Wolfsburg's love affair with this competition stretches back to 2013, when they triumphed over Lyon in the final. Since then, they've won the competition twice and lost three times in the final — they're now a step away from reaching their sixth final in a decade.

Arsenal, the 2007 winners, set up well under their Swedish coach Jonas Eidevall, but struggled to create chances in this tight contest. The game's opening goal came early when the ball dropped to Jill Roord, who with her back to goal, twisted her body to hook the ball past Arsenal goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger from close range. For Roord, it was a sweet moment against her former club. For Wolfsburg, their quickest goal in this season's Champions League.

Sveindis Jane Jonsdottir dribbles the ball for Wolfsburg against Arsenal in the UEFA Women's Champions League
Jonsdottir's speed, directness and deliveries were the difference for WolfsburgImage: IMAGO/foto2press

Jonsdottir causes Arsenal a headache

The early goal came courtesy of Jonsdottir, the impressive wide forward whose contribution in her first Champions League start was the difference. Her speed, directness and consistent deliveries caused Arsenal a constant headache, immediately vindicating coach Tommy Stroot's decision to start the rising star ahead of the experienced Alexandra Popp, who had started the first leg in London.

Every time Jonsdottir got on the ball, Arsenal retreated in fear and it was her combination of speed and quality that led to the 2021 Icelandic player of the year to claim another assist for the goal that killed the contest. The Gunners improved after the break but Jonsdottir's dangerous cross put Leah Williamson in trouble, and the Arsenal defender's attempted block ended up in her own net.

Arsenal were jolted into a response and hit the post twice in quick succession soon after going two down on the night, but it was too little too late against a Wolfsburg team who looked comfortable for most of the contest and know that only Barcelona stand between them and another Champions League final.

Ada Hegerberg celebrates Catarina Macario's fine goal for Lyon against Juventus
Ada Hegerberg celebrates Catarina Macario's fine goal for Lyon against JuventusImage: Lyubomir Domozetski/SPP/IMAGO

Lyon's class shines through

Lyon 3-1 Juventus, Groupama Academy Stadium
(Hegerberg 33', Malard 35, Macario 73' — Staskova 84')
Lyon win 4-3 on aggregate

Norwegian starlet Ana Hegerberg scored her 57th goal in European competition as Lyon outclassed Juventus to overturn their first leg defeat in Turin.

Hegerberg's back post header was the first of two quick goals that turned the tie on its head, with Melvine Malard repeating the trick, noding in at the far post two minutes later.

Lyon looked insatiable at times and the record seven-time winners added to their lead after the break courtesy of a sensational goal by American Catarina Macarino, whose dragback and shot bamboozled Juventus captain Sara Gama.

Juventus, whose stadium will host this season's final, gave themselves a late lifeline when Andrea Staskova headed in from a corner, but that proved little more than a consolation as Lyon set up an all-French semifinal with PSG, who edged out Bayern Munich in Paris on Wednesday.

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