Arsenal 2-3 Wolfsburg AET (4-5 agg): Bremer gets extra time winner

Arsenal 2-3 Wolfsburg AET (4-5 agg): Pauline Bremer taps-in late in extra time to send Germans to Women’s Champions League final at the expense of the Gunners in front of over 60,000 fans at the Emirates

  • Pauline Bremer struck late in extra time to send Wolfsburg to June’s final
  • Stina Blackstenius and Jen Beattie scored for hosts in semi-final second leg
  • Former Gunner Jill Roord and Alexandra Popp had scored for the Germans 

On arguably the biggest day for women’s club football in this country, injury-stricken Arsenal were left broken, battered and bruised.

The Gunners gave their all against an experienced Wolfsburg side who are veterans at this stage of the competition. But after taking an early lead for the first time in the tie, they fell to a 5-4 defeat on aggregate after extra-time in front of a record crowd of over 60,000 at the Emirates.

It had all started so well for the hosts, who have been crippled by injuries to key players this season. On her 50th appearance for the club, Stina Blackstenius, profited from a defensive mix-up to give Arsenal the lead.

Lia Walti’s pass caused havoc in the Wolfsburg defence when defender Kathrin Hendrich tried to hold off the Swede in the hope that her goalkeeper, Merle Frohms, would be off her line to sweep up at the back.

But Frohms’ moment of hesitation was just enough for Blackstenius to profit from. She was too quick and too strong for the German pair, shrugging off their challenges to slot into an empty net.

Pauline Bremer struck in the 118th minute to send Wolfsburg to the Champions League final

Arsenal were left broken, battered and bruised by the Women’s Champions League semi-final

Arsenal’s injury problems continued with Laura Wienroither stretchered off in the 82nd minute

Jonas Eidevall’s side had already survived an early scare when VAR took more than two minutes to decide there was no handball against Lotte Wubben-Moy.

But he will have been furious with the way his side threw away their lead just before the break.

Alexandra Popp was allowed to cushion Felicitas Rauch’s free kick into the path of Jill Roord, who had time and space on the edge of the box to finish brilliantly into the bottom right corner against her former club. It left Arsenal feeling down, but certainly not out, heading into the break.

It was nearly an emphatic reply from the Gunners after the break. No less than 90 seconds into the second half, Blackstenius thought she had her second. But after a VAR check the goal was ruled out with the forward having strayed marginally off-side in the build-up.

Stina Blackstenius put the hosts in front after 11 minutes, and also had another goal disallowed 

Wolfsburg’s Dutch midfielder Jill Roord equalised before the break against her former club

Alexandra Popp put the visitors ahead just before the hour mark in front of 60,063 fans

Again the German side probed and eventually they did breach Arsenal’s defence. Popp met Rauch’s corner at the front post and left Zinsberger no chance with a powerful header.

Arsenal huffed and puffed after that but Eidevall’s decision to replace the dangerous Blackstenius with just over an hour gone seemed to blunt the hosts.

But tonight, of all nights, it felt as if there was something special to come. And it was an unlikely duo in defenders Wubben-Moy and Jen Beattie who combined to make it 2-2.

The pair had been dominant in their own box but proved deadly in Wolfsburg’s as Beattie’s glancing header from Wubben-Moy’s cross drifted in past Frohms.

An early VAR check on Lotte Wubben-Moy’s handball was waved away due to an offside call

Jen Beattie’s header on 75 minutes made it 2-2 on the night, after the same score in the first leg

Arsenal had the two fantastic chances in extra-time through Lina Hurtig and Frida Maanum before Pauline Bremer went close for the visitors. Katie McCabe then saw her cross-come-shot drift agonisingly onto Frohms’ bar.

But with the Gunners needing to hold out for sixty seconds more for penalties, disaster struck. Wubben-Moy was lax on the ball and when Tabea Wassmuth dispossessed her, she was able to slide the ball across goal and leave Bremer with the simplest of finishes at the back post.

And so it was not to be for Arsenal, whose wait for a first Champions League final since 2007 goes on. But on a night where the attendance record was broken, the result almost seemed secondary to the bigger picture as the home players were serenaded with cries of ‘Arsenal, Arsenal’ at the end of a dramatic night.

Records are made to be broken – and when the women’s game continues to provide games as good as this one, there can be no doubt that plenty more will be shattered very soon.


Arsenal (3-4-3): Zinsberger 5; Wubben-Moy 6.5, Beattie 7.5 (Agyemang 119), Rafaelle 6; Maritz 6 (Wienroither 64 (Kuhl 81, 6), Maanum 6, Wälti 6.5, Catley 7; Pelova 6.5, Blackstenius 7.5 (Hurtig 64, 6), McCabe 7.

Subs not used: D’Angelo, Marckese, Goldie, Agyemang, Harbert, Reid.

Booked: Maritz 41, Beattie 52, Catley 117, Pelova 123

Goals: Blackstenius 11, Beattie 75

Manager: Jonas Eidevall 6

Wolfsburg (4-2-3-1): Frohms 5; Wilms 6 (Hegering 106), Hendrich 6, Janssen 6, Rauch 8; Oberdorf 7, Roord 7.5 (Blomqvist 123); Huth 6 (Bremer 90 6), Popp 7.5, Jonsdottir 7 (Brand 101, 6); Pajor 6 (Wassmuth 77 6).

Subs not used: Kassen, Weiss, Agrez, Demann, Wolter, Wedemeyer.

Booked: Huth 50, Wassmuth 104, Rauch 114

Goals: Roord 42, Popp 58, Bremer 119

Manager: Tommy Stroot 6.5

Referee: Lina Lehtovaara 4

Attendance: 60,063

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