The first leg of the Women’s Champion League quarterfinals is complete. The eight remaining teams now are setting their sights on the second leg, which kicks off next week.

In Wednesday’s early match, Juventus rallied to beat Olympique Lyonnais 2-1 after Lyon’s Ellie Carpenter was issued a red card in the 62nd minute.

Lyon went up 1-0 off a Catarina Macario strike in the eighth minute, but Cristiana Girelli notched the equalizer in the 71st minute for Juventus. Agnese Bonfantini broke the tie in the 83rd minute.

“Lyon are the best team in the world, both individually and collectively,” said Juventus coach Joe Montemurro. “The sending off gave us an advantage but I saw signs before that we were starting to exploit the space better.”

In the late match, Arsenal and Wolfsburg finished in a 1-1 draw. Tabea Wassmuth put one on the board for Wolfsburg in the 19th minute before a late equalizer from Lotte Wubben-Moy in the 89th minute led to the draw.

“It was a very good finish, a very special moment for [Wubben-Moy] to come to this stadium and score a very important goal like this,” said Arsenal manager Jonas Eidvall. “You work with a player every day and she gets to live a moment like this – it’s a special moment. In football, sometimes there are bad times, and sometimes there are good times like that.”

On Twitter, Wubben-Moy called it a “dream.”

Tuesday’s game between Barcelona and Real Madrid resulted in a 3-1 win for Barcelona. Alexia Putellas scored twice to help lift the defending champions over Madrid.

The second leg of the quarterfinals will kick off next Wednesday, starting with Barcelona and Real Madrid. Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich will finish off the day before the final two matches of the quarterfinals are played on Thursday.

The Juventus women’s soccer team is in hot water after posting an extremely racist tweet on Thursday from the team’s official Twitter account.

The tweet, which featured an image of a Juventus women’s player — Italian defender Cecilia Salvai — making a slanted-eye gesture while wearing an orange training cone as a hat, was up for about 20 minutes before it was deleted.

The tweet containing the racist image did not share any information other than three emojis which seemed to replicate the offensive gesture in the photo.

After a stream of outrage on social media, the Juventus Twitter account issued an apology saying: “We sincerely apologise that our tweet, which was not meant to cause controversy or have any racial undertones, may have offended anyone. Juventus has always been against racism and discrimination. #DifferencesMakeTheDifference”

On Friday, Juventus released a second statement on their official website which read: “We would like to express our deepest apologies for the social post that read as racially discriminatory content on the Juventus Women’s Football Twitter account yesterday.”

“Juventus immediately realised that the Club had committed an unforgivable mistake, and this mistake has seriously hurt the feelings of all people who oppose racial discrimination.”

“For such a mistake, the Club assumes full responsibility for the occurrence of the incident and its serious impact. Opposing racial discrimination and supporting the common development of multiple cultures are the principles that Juventus as a Club has always adhered to and continues to put into practice.”

“Juventus acknowledges this mistake, and the Club will make the most profound reflection and thorough review to prevent similar things from happening again.”


Juventus vs Olympique Lyonnais: UEFA Champions League – Leg 1 – Round of 32

Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy

Kickoff: December 9th, 2020, at 9:00 a.m. EST

The UEFA Champions League is back, with the knockout round beginning this week as 32 of the best teams in Europe gear up to compete for the most prestigious prize in club football.

With the first legs of the Round of 32 matches set to be played on December 9th and 10th, there are several highly anticipated matchups which promise to deliver the usual Champions League fireworks. But no matchup looks to be bigger than that between Juventus and Olympique Lyonnais, the first leg of which will take place in Turin, Italy.

Juve currently tops the Serie A table and has won the league title the last three seasons. That’s a pretty good resume, until you compare it to Lyon’s. The 14-time defending French league champs have won the Champions League title the past five years and seven times overall. They begin their latest title defense looking to cement their status as one of the dynasties the sport has ever seen.

Olympique Lyonnais is considered the best and most successful women’s football club in the world. In the past decade, Lyon has won over 25 trophies, and given the money, resources, and development that the club has put into their current squad and coaching staff, it doesn’t look like their winning ways are stopping anytime soon.

Last year, Juventus was knocked out in the Round of 32 by Barcelona, who made it all the way to the semi-finals. A disappointing result, but for a club that was only founded in 2017, Juventus has made great strides both domestically and in Europe.

When the Champions League comes along, teams dread being drawn against Lyon. For the past five years, it has meant a quick ticket out of the competition. Lyon’s history, experience, and strength on the pitch makes them almost impossible to beat.

If Juventus wants to advance to the Round of 16, the team will likely need to mimic what Paris Saint-Germain did against Lyon in late November of this year. PSG were able to shock Lyon in a Division 1 Féminine match, beating them 1-0.

Lyon’s defeat was more than just a loss to a rival; it was their first league defeat in four years. Before the match, Lyon sat atop the Division 1 Féminine standings, with Paris one point behind them. After the loss, Lyon moved to second, and have stayed behind PSG since.

Juventus not only has a gameplan to mimic, but they can take solace in the fact that Lyon has been playing a full-strength XI every week in hopes of catching up with Paris Saint-Germain. In contrast, Juventus, with nine wins in nine matches played, has been able to rest key players in the build-up to this match.

Fans of both teams will be hoping that they have enough to beat the other, of course, but neutrals will be hoping for a classic matchup that showcases all of the usual drama we’ve come to associate with the UEFA Champions League. Whatever happens during this tie, one of Europe’s best teams will be crashing out in the Round of 32.

Other exciting matchups in this round include Ajax vs Bayern Munich and PSV Eindhoven vs Barcelona. FAWSL teams Chelsea and Manchester City will likewise take on SL Benfica and Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC respectively, while last season’s runner ups, VfL Wolfsburg, will take on ŽFK Spartak Subotica.