Three Westfield Matildas made their UEFA Women’s Champions League debuts over the weekend as the prestigious club competition was whittled down to the final four teams.
Altered from a home-and-away tie to a straight knock-out tournament due to COVID-19, the weekend action saw mixed fortunes for the Aussies in Spain.
Atlético Madrid v Barcelona
After spending the better part of a year on the sideline due to injury, Alex Chidiac finally got a handful of minutes for Atlético Madrid as they went down to Spanish rivals and last year’s UWCL finalists Barcelona FC 1-0.
With Atlético depleted because of several positive COVID-19 tests to senior players, Chidiac – along with two other players under the age of 22 – were called upon in the closing stages of the game. The quarter-final is the club’s best ever result in the modern Champions League competition.
Barcelona will take on VfL Wolfsburg in the first semi-final on Wednesday morning.
Olympique Lyonnais v Bayern Munich
Ellie Carpenter’s Olympique Lyonnais are on track to claim their fifth consecutive UWCL title after a hard-fought 2-1 win over Bayern Munich.
Carpenter was listed on the substitutes bench but did not make an appearance for the French Champions, having to battle England international and 2019 Women’s World Cup Bronze Ball winner Lucy Bronze for the coveted starting spot at right back.
Lyon now face Paris Saint-Germain in the second semi-final on Thursday morning.
Arsenal v Paris Saint-Germain
As COVID-19 saw the FA Women’s Super League suspended in July, Westfield Matilda Caitlin Foord has subsequently made more appearances in other cup competitions for Arsenal FC than she has in the league itself.
This includes making her UWCL debut for the Gunners against Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday morning, coming on in the 76th minute for goal-scorer Beth Mead as Arsenal went down 2-1. Within minutes, Foord also recorded her first yellow card in her new club colours.
Likewise, new signing Steph Catley made her first appearance in red and white, subbing on in the 89th minute. Westfield Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams was not on the bench after undergoing light ankle surgery during the week.