Leupolz header earns Bayern Women victory over Arsenal Women in Emirates Cup opener


A header from Bayern Munich Women captain Melanie Leupolz proved enough to earn her team a 1-0 win over Arsenal Women in the opening match of the Emirates Cup on Sunday afternoon.

Bayern dominated the early stages as clever passing threatened to carve open the Arsenal defence.

Arsenal’s front three of Katie McCabe, Lisa Evans and Danielle Carter worked hard to create chances, aided in the middle by the control and flair of captain Kim Little.

Bayern took the lead thanks to a superbly executed free-kick when captain Melanie Leupolz rose highest at the back post to powerfully header past a helpless Manuela Zinsberger.

Set-pieces continued to be a danger at both ends as Arsenal ended the half looking the most likely to score next.

Bayern defender Verena Schweers had a chance but couldn’t keep her shot from flying over Zinsberger’s goal before Arsenal striker Carter threatened on numerous occasions, the Gunners just not finding the final ball when it mattered most.

A piece of unbelievable skill from Tabea Kemme had the Emirates on their feet as Arsenal closed the half out much the stronger side but Bayern held on to their one-goal advantage at the break.

Both sides started the second half brightly, Bayern almost doubling their lead following a scramble from a corner.

Bayern weren’t allowing the home side to be comfortable in front of the Emirates crowd, pressing high and consequently winning the ball in good areas.

The German visitors almost profited from this when Leupolz rolled Jovana Damnjanovic through but the Serbian striker struck a low effort which was easily saved by Zinsberger.

Substitute Nicole Rosler had a chance to double the lead but fired wide from a Giulia Gwinn cross as Bayern asserted their dominance on the match.

Arsenal did manage to counter on 68 minutes but McCabe’s shot was blocked much to the despair of the hopeful home support.

McCabe again had a chance on the break but a mixture of poor decision-making and good Bayern defending denied her a clear chance at goal.

Five minutes added time, due to an injury to Arsenal striker Danielle Carter, gave the home fans some hope of salvaging something from the match but Bayern ultimately proved too good and emerged victorious by one goal to nil.

Arsenal XI: Zinsberger; Maier, Beattie (Flores, 81), Quinn, Kemme (Mitchell, 45); Little (c), Veje, Schnaderbeck (Arnth, 68); Carter (Filis, 81), McCabe, Evans

Bayern XI: Benkarth (Schluter, 45); Riley (Rolser, 45), Ilestedt, Hendrich, Wenninger, Schweers; Gwinn, Leupolz (c) (Pfluger, 64), Lohmann (Dallman, 22 (Corley, 89), Magull (Kogel, 75); Islaker (Damnjanovic, 45)


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