Club action was limited around some parts of the globe over the past weekend with many national teams preparing for the upcoming international window, highlighted by the Algarve and Cyprus Cups.
We take a look at news from Germany, France, Belgium/Netherlands and Italy where there was a recurring theme in the latter three leagues with a change at the summit. Germany also witnessed a rare result as champions Wolfsburg slipped to their maiden defeat of the campaign.
Germany: Shock for continental queens
The Bundesliga’s traditional powerhouses – 1.FFC Frankfurt and Turbine Potsdam – took full advantage as Wolfsburg slipped to their first loss of the season. The German and European champions could find no answer on their trip south against the ever-improving Bayern Munich, with the fourth-placed Bavarians claiming a 3-1 comeback victory. Turbine Potsdam were 2-0 victors at Jena, while Frankfurt are now the last team to maintain an unbeaten start to the campaign after 12 rounds following a comfortable 3-0 home triumph against Freiburg. Newly-promoted Hoffenheim collected the goalscoring honours in easing to a 5-0 triumph at Sindelfingen, with dynamic Japan forward Mana Iwabuchi a notable name on the scoresheet.
*Top three: 1.FFC Frankfurt (30 points), Turbine Potsdam (29), Wolfsburg (25) *
*France: Lyon takes back seat to Parisians *
There was a rare occurrence in France as seven-time champions Lyon lost their hold on top spot. OL’s star-studded roster was forced to cool their heels on the sidelines with their match at Rodez postponed due to snow. Ambitious Paris Saint-Germain took full toll to go top by a single point, though having played a match extra. PSG cruised past the visiting Guingamp 4-0 with, ironically, former Lyon youth player Kenza Dali nabbing a hat-trick. Third-placed Montpellier won by the same scoreline over Henin-Beaumont to move just five points shy of Lyon. A further point adrift is Juvisy who eased to a 4-1 win at Soyaux, with the league’s top goalscorer Gaetane Thiney scoring twice for a timely confidence boost ahead of this week’s Cyprus Cup.
*Top three: Paris Saint-Germain (62), Lyon (61), Montpellier (56) *
*Belgium/Netherlands: Three-way race heats up *
It was a potentially pivotal weekend in the title race with the three frontrunners – FC Twente, Standard Liege and Ajax – enjoying differing fortunes. Standard, leaders heading into the round, tumbled to a costly defeat at Den Haag, with Lisanne Grimberg netting a crucial winner for the Dutch capital club. Meanwhile, a lone Jill Roord goal lifted champions Twente to top spot with victory over in-form Ajax, who themselves could have gone to the summit with victory at the Amsterdam ArenA.
*Top three: FC Twente, Standard Liege (both 41), Ajax (40) *
*Italy: New frontrunners as champs sidelined *Tavagnacco and Brescia took joint control of top spot as reigning champions Torres saw their home match against Napoli postponed. Alice Parisi netted a late crucial winner as Tavagnacco stumbled to a 1-0 win against struggling Chiasiellis. The three points, however, were enough to stay marginally clear of Brescia on goal difference. The Lombardy club collected a 3-1 comeback win on their short trip to Inter Milan.
*Top three: Tavagnacco, Brescia (both 60), Torres (58) *