In an unexpected upset, Arsenal Women suffered an early exit from the Women’s Champions League qualifiers, succumbing to Paris FC in a tense penalty shootout.

  • Arsenal Women’s team eliminated from the Women’s Champions League qualifiers by Paris FC after a penalty shootout.
  • Mathilde Bourdieu and Alessia Russo played crucial roles in the match, with Bourdieu scoring twice and Russo scoring and missing a penalty.
  • The loss marks Arsenal’s second Champions League setback in just over four months.

In a dramatic turn of events, Arsenal Women’s team faced a disheartening exit from the Women’s Champions League qualifiers after being defeated by underdogs Paris FC in a nail-biting penalty shootout.

The Gunners, having reached the semi-finals the previous season, were met with an early departure following a hard-fought battle that concluded 4-2 in favour of the French team after penalties.

The match, which saw Arsenal rallying from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits, oscillated the emotions of both players and fans.

Paris FC’s Mathilde Bourdieu scored two quick goals early in the second half, putting her side firmly ahead.

However, Arsenal’s new signing, Alessia Russo, signed on a free from Manchester United, marked her competitive Arsenal debut with a vital goal.

The intensity heightened when Jen Beattie’s header equalised in the final moments of stoppage time.

As the game proceeded into extra time, Julie Soyer of Paris FC once more put her team in the lead.

Yet, Russo displayed her prowess with an impressive 25-yard goal, taking the match to penalties.

The penalty shootout, brimming with drama, went in favour of the French side, particularly due to Nigeria’s goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie, who stopped penalties from both Russo and Frida Maanum.

This was a redeeming moment for Nnadozie after her performance in Nigeria’s World Cup shootout against England earlier that summer.

This surprising defeat marked the second Champions League setback for the Arsenal Women’s team in just over four months. This was contrasting to their semi-final departure at the hands of VfL Wolfsburg the prior season.

Arsenal’s head coach, Jonas Eidevall, shared his disillusionment, especially considering the team’s proximity to the final in the previous season. Arsenal had earlier easily beaten  Swedish side Linkoping, but met stiffer resistance from Paris FC, often ranking third in France behind Lyon and Paris St-Germain.

Paris FC advance to the Women’s Champions League’s final qualifying stage, potentially going up against Russo’s ex-team, Manchester United.

In summary, Arsenal Women’s team’s aspirations for the Champions League were dashed by Paris FC in a thrilling penalty shootout.

This match underscored the unpredictability of women’s football, leaving everyone on tenterhooks. As Paris FC marches forward, Arsenal must regroup for their upcoming domestic and international endeavours, hoping to achieve European glory in the future.