Friday, September 29, 2023

Arsenal out of Women’s Champions League after England hero Alessia Russo misses in penalty shootout

Arsenal Women’s hopes of playing in the Champions League this season were ended on Saturday after losing on penalties against Paris FC.

The Gunners finished third in the Women’s Super League last campaign and had to qualify to play in Europe this term.

Russo scored twice for Arsenal as they were knocked out of the Champions LeagueGetty

The Gunners lost on penalties against French side Paris FCGetty

After beating Linkoping in the opening round on Wednesday, Paris FC were next up for last campaign’s European Cup semi-finalists.

But they have crashed out before reaching the group stage after a six-goal thriller went to a penalty shootout, with England hero Alessia Russo missing her effort.

The game was goalless going into the break before Mathilde Bourdieu scored two goals in as many minutes for the French side just before the hour mark.

Russo, who signed for Arsenal on a free transfer in the summer, then scored her first goal for the Gunners with ten minutes to go.

The north London outfit then took the match to extra-time courtesy of Jen Beattie’s goal in the sixth minute of stoppage-time.

Paris FC took the lead yet again in the 106th minute through Louise Fleury, only for Russo to make it 3-3 moments later.

A penalty shootout was therefore required to determine the winner, with Arsenal losing 4-2.

After Paris FC scored all of their opening three spot-kicks, Gunners star Frida Maanum was the first to miss from 12 yards out.

Women’s Champions League action will not return to north London this seasonGetty

The French outfit then squandered one for themselves before Russo did the same after a solid performance during normal and extra time.

Arsenal’s fate was sealed when Louna Ribadeira scored to make it 4-2 in the shootout, sealing a shock win for Paris FC.

The Gunners will now only be competing for domestic trophies this season.

Arsenal return to Women’s Super League action at the start of October when they host Liverpool on the opening weekend of the new season.

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