Bayern Munich claimed a comprehensive 4-0 victory over FC Rosengård in the UEFA Women’s Champions League on Thursday. Goals by Tainara, Sydney Lohmann, Georgia Stanway, and Julia Landenberger led the way for the Bavarians — but after FC Barcelona followed that up with a 6-2 thrashing of SL Benfica, they’re still second in the group with a 17-5 goal differential deficit.
The points were the most important thing, though, and the top two teams both go through. With one matchday to go, Bayern and Barcelona have both booked their places — meaning Bayern’s final match will almost certainly have nothing at stake.
Highlights and observations below.
Front foot and a debut goal
Bayern took a little while to get going, and the game stayed scoreless until the 38’ mark — and then remained 1-0 until midway through the second half. But despite some nervy moments and lapses in defensive concentration, it was nice to see the Frauen assert themselves as the thoroughly better side. Rosengard managed just one shot on goal, and Bayern might’ve managed a few more from their eleven (nineteen overall) had it not been for a pretty sharp day from keeper Angel Keziah Eshirendah Mukasa — and, to be fair, a great deal of Bayern offsides.
Manchester City transfer Georgia Stanway powered her way through another emphatic performance in central midfield, and put the game away for good in the 73rd minute after pouncing on a poor moment of build-up herself and then firing home. She also set up the final goal — a wonderful debut goal from 18-year-old Julia Landenberger in the 90th minute.
And how’s this for a little bit of veteran nous — after Australia’s antics against Denmark at the Men’s World Cup, Stanway took no chances with an instruction sheet delivered by a substitute late in the game and tucked it away calmly with her shin pads:
Highlight of the match #FCRFCB pic.twitter.com/oCmLf7oJpZ— Livia ⚪️ (@liviamanke_) December 15, 2022
Tainara takes her turn at right-back
Speaking of Tainara, the Brazilian defender gave Alexander Straus a third center-back without moving to a back three — due to injuries, she’s now the top option at right-back. And it paid off spectacularly on a set piece for the game’s opening goal, which she deftly placed from the near post into the far corner, where fellow defender Saki Kumagai was arriving late just in case.
With Giulia Gwinn out (ACL) and Maximiliane Rall (broken nose), and Hanna Glas down as well since the start of the season, Bayern are having to mix and match on defense. So far, so good.
Injuries and fatigue
Women’s football saw another devastating knee injury elsewhere in Champions League action today, with Arsenal FC forward Vivianne Miedema having to be stretchered off the field after going down non-contact. It follows her Gunners teammate Beth Mead’s ACL tear, Giulia Gwinn’s as well. Such injuries should draw more attention to the particular plague of ACL tears in women’s football — as well as push teams, training professionals, and leagues to think about how they can better manage their players to better protect their health and careers.
Lina Magull wasn’t able to finish the game for Bayern, but there’s no indication so far of something very long-term.
However, Bayern do have the look of a team starting to run on fumes. It’s probably fortunate that nothing more than first or second place in the group is at stake in next week’s match against Benfica — the schedule is clearly taking a toll on players.
For now — celebrations are in order, and some holiday cheer, through the bitter and the cold. Via Alina from 90min DE:
Georgia Stanway speaking to the media post-match (while „Last Christmas“ is played in the background ):— Alina (@alina_rxp) December 15, 2022
„[I am] very happy [about my goal]. You can‘t beat Champions League nights under the lights. I don‘t even know how many degrees it has but it‘s absolutely freezing.“ (1/3)
„…and took our chances in the final third.“— Alina (@alina_rxp) December 15, 2022
She admits there‘s been „adversity“ with scoring goals in previous games but the team „found a way to win each time and it was a strong performance out here today.“ (3/3)
Full quotes in German coming @90min_DE