Arsenal Women 1-2 Paris St-Germain Feminines

22 August 2020 0 By Total Football News
Denmark striker Signe Bruun gave PSG a late victory over Arsenal

Arsenal were knocked out of the Women's Champions League by Paris St-Germain to end British interest at the quarter-final stage of this year's competition.

Marie-Antoinette Katoto's superb near-post volley put PSG ahead early on, before England forward Beth Mead's curling strike drew Arsenal level.

But Katoto teed up substitute Signe Bruun to poke home and set up a semi-final tie with fellow French club Lyon.

Defeat for the Gunners follows Glasgow City's loss to Wolfsburg on Friday.

The result also denies Joe Montemurro's side a place in the 2020-21 Champions League, after Arsenal finished third in the Women's Super League table on a points-per-game method.

They had not played a competitive match since the WSL was suspended in March - their last game was a 2-1 defeat by Chelsea in the League Cup final on 29 February - and a lack of match sharpness seemed evident as the contest wore on.

PSG, beaten by Lyon in the French League Cup final only 12 days ago, were deserved winners with a strong second-half showing at San Sebastian's Anoeta Stadium, hosting the one-legged last-eight tie under revised rules because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Even before Bruun's 77th-minute winner Arsenal goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger had been kept far busier than her opposite number, most notably denying Katoto a second after the France striker went clean through on goal.

Arsenal, bidding to reach their first Champions League semi-final since 2013, failed to create a really clear opportunity to level again in the final 10 minutes - although Vivianne Miedema was nearly allowed to tap in at the far post only for Caitlin Foord's low cross to be diverted behind for a corner.

PSG will now take on Lyon for a place in the final, after England's Nikita Parris helped the six-time European champions to a 2-1 win over Bayern Munich in Saturday's other tie.

The Gunners begin the new WSL season with a home match against Reading on 6 September, while they still have to play north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur in their 2019-20 FA Cup quarter-final on 26 September.

Analysis

BBC Sport's Tom Garry

Having gone 175 days without a competitive match, Arsenal were always unlikely to be at their best in Saturday's quarter-final - and a fresher, sharper and less error-prone PSG side were deserved winners on the night.

The Gunners showed glimpses of their creative flair but were unable to provide the kind of service to Netherlands star Vivianne Miedema that the competition's top scorer this season has been used to.

The outcome leaves a semi-final line-up without an English side for the first time since 2016, after a run of three seasons with at least one WSL club in the last four, while Britain's wait for a first Women's European champion or finalist since the Gunners' triumph of 2007 continues.

For Arsenal, whose hopes had looked so strong when they completed a resounding 13-2 aggregate win over Slavia Prague in their previous match in the competition 296 days ago, they must now wait at least 12 months to play in Europe again.

Arsenal boss Joe Montemurro:

"They are a powerful team. They have powerful players. Obviously, having the opportunity to play two important games, they prepared a little bit better, but I make no excuses for that.

"Big-game intensities, big-game scenarios and big-game physicality, they can only be replicated in big games. We haven't had any. That's the truth, but it's not an excuse.

"We make the best of the situation and so be it. I'm still proud of the players, the planning, the preparation. The staff have been brilliant. We did what we could with the circumstances we were given.

"They got in to very dangerous positions. We made two errors, we got exposed."


This news item was provided by the BBC Sport - Football website - the original link is: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/53869698