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Women's Football

Defending champions slow out of the blocks

Head coach Ralf Kellermann of Wolfsburg looks on
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Reigning champions VfL Wolfsburg are unlikely to have envisaged their title defence starting quite the way it has, with just two points from as many games leaving them well off the pace in Germany. Meanwhile, Lyon put on another show of strength in France, while a nail-biting finale awaits fans in England. rounds up the action from selected women's leagues around the globe. 

Germany: Treble-winners still awaiting first victory
Wolfsburg have struggled to click into gear this season in the Bundesliga, with a second successive draw on Matchday 2 leaving the treble-winners down in ninth. Die *Wolfinnen *took the lead away to FF USV Jena through Nadine Kessler, but Amber Hearn struck late on to secure the hosts a point. 

There were no such struggles for Turbine Potsdam, however, who moved top of the standings after following up last week's draw with a 7-0 rout over VfL Sindelfingen this time. Pauline Bremer, Natasa Andonova and Genoveva Anonma each grabbed a brace, with Lisa Evans also adding her name to the scoresheet. 

Potsdam are one of four teams jostling for supremacy at the summit and are currently level on points with FFC Frankfurt, Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich. While Frankfurt and Leverkusen both recorded draws, 1-1 against SGS Essen and 0-0 against BV Cloppenburg respectively, Bayern earned a 2-1 victory over SC Freiburg. 

Top three: 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam, Bayer 04 Leverkusen, 1. FFC Frankfurt (each on 4 points)

*England: Thrilling two-horse title race *The last round of matches promises to be a veritable nail-biter in the English Women's Super League, with the championship race going down to the wire. Liverpool currently lead the way with a two-point advantage over second-placed Bristol Academy ahead of the duo's title-deciding game on 29 September. Nothing but victory will do for the latter, while a draw would be enough for Liverpool. Bristol warmed up for the encounter by coming back from a 3-0 half-time deficit to down Doncaster Belles, keeping their title hopes alive in the most dramatic fashion. The game was seemingly over at the break, but coach Mark Sampson's charges staged a thrilling comeback to triumph 4-3. “Whatever happens next, we’re champions already in my eyes," said Sampson afterwards. "I’m glad the players have got a chance to go to Liverpool and give it their best shot.”

Top three: Liverpool (33), Bristol Academy (31), Arsenal (27)

France: Lyon march on
Any opponents who had hoped Olympique Lyon might need some time to get going in France's new Division 1 Feminin* *season will have been mightily disappointed, as coach Patrice Lair's side sit atop the standings after Matchday 3. Three victories, 17 goals scored and just one against are the fruits of their labours so far, with a 10-1 drubbing of AS Muretaine on Sunday their latest show of strength. Eugenie Le Sommer fired in a hat-trick, with Camille Abily, Laetitia Tonazzi and Lotta Schelin each netting twice and Saki Kumagai also on target. Paris Saint-Germain have likewise picked up three wins from their opening three fixtures, but with 'just' nine goals scored and two conceded, their goal difference is vastly inferior.

Top three: Lyon, Paris Saint Germain (both on 12), Juvisy FCF (9)

Switzerland: Zurich fall to first defeat
After going unbeaten for two seasons, FC Zurich were left contemplating an unfamiliar set of emotions on Matchday 6 when they lost 2-0 to SC Kriens. Angela Stocker and Melina Scodeller grabbed the goals to overcome the defending champions, who nevertheless returned to winning ways four days later with a comfortable 3-0 derby triumph over Grasshopper Zurich. Three days after that, Zurich re-asserted a measure of their authority with a 6-0 thrashing of BSC Young Boys. However, it was not enough to prevent the still undefeated FC Yverdon Feminin from taking top spot.
Top three: FC Yverdon Feminin (19), FC Zurich (18), SC Kriens (17)*

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