- For Turbine Potsdam and Eintracht Frankfurt, everything is at stake in the Bundesliga in a direct duel on the next matchday.
- Internationally, FC Barcelona’s victory over VfL Wolfsburg gives a glimpse into the future of women’s football.
- It doesn’t look rosy for the DFB either. He is again receiving many warning signs this year.
German women’s football has had some memorable weeks. Weeks that revealed on several levels how far the way back to the top really is.
On Friday evening, the feeling of exhaustion hit a new low. VfL Wolfsburg, the absolute figurehead of German women’s football, went down 5-1 at Camp Nou at FC Barcelona – and was still well served. Almost at the same time, the women of FC Bayern Munich struggled for a half-time in Jena to fulfill their duty. The Bundesliga results of the 20th matchday at a glance:
Even if the women from Munich are now back at the women from Wolfsburg, it can be expected that they won’t let anything go wrong. The fight for third place is more exciting. Potsdam won the top game 2-1 in Hoffenheim and can bag qualification for the Champions League against Eintracht Frankfurt next week. The table with two remaining game days:
1. The last big decision in the league
With two games to go, most teams in the league don’t have much at stake. Although Bayern managed to close the gap to Wolfsburg, a lot would have to happen for a serious chance at the title. In the table basement, SC Sand has left too much in the last few weeks to be able to make the relegation battle hot again. Mathematically, they are not yet relegated, but they will probably not make up the five points behind Essen.
And so only one question really remains open: Who will get third place and thus the last ticket for the Champions League in the coming season? Turbine Potsdam took a big step in the right direction last weekend – and thus distanced TSG Hoffenheim to six points.
In a hard-fought game, the Brandenburg women showed once again that they had improved their defensive quality in the second half of the season. It is not surprising that they currently have one of the best offensive lines in the league with 52 goals and are always good for two or even three goals.
Champions League showdown: Potsdam receives Frankfurt
After the first half of the season, Potsdam had already conceded 16 goals and thus more than their competitors from Frankfurt (12) and Hoffenheim (14). Only six more goals have been conceded two games before the end. They are now well ahead of Eintracht (26) and TSG (29).
Coach Sofian Chahed has found the balance between aggressive and sometimes high attacking pressing, quiet phases of possession and fast switching. Hardly anyone had the women from the Brandenburg state capital on their list before the season. But now they have the role of favorites.
The next day there will be a showdown at home with Eintracht Frankfurt. Even if they lose, Potsdam would still be in third place with a current 13-goal lead – on the final day of the game, however, they travel to Bayern Munich. A draw would probably be the preliminary decision, a win would be the mathematically already secure ticket for the queen class.
Many contracts at Turbine expire in the summer. Qualifying for the Champions League would also be very important for the traditional club.
Player of the week: Almuth Schult
Not a logical choice with five goals conceded, but the 31-year-old was the least responsible for the clear defeat. On the contrary: as often as Barca rolled towards their goal, it could have, maybe had to, ring ten times. Schult made sensational saves several times and was perhaps the only Wolfsburg player to show top form.
2. FC Barcelona: A look into the future of women’s football
Slow, not very dynamic, error-prone, unaesthetic – the list of outdated clichés that women’s football has to deal with in this country is endless and bottomless. The satisfaction is all the greater when a team plays such beautiful, fast and dynamic football as the women of FC Barcelona. In front of 91,648 spectators at the Camp Nou, they outclassed one of the most dominant clubs in top-flight European football in the past ten years.
A record crowd on European soil (world record: 110,000 people at the 1971 World Cup final in Mexico). And appropriately, a record-breaking performance from Barca. It’s no stretch to categorize this achievement as historic. The top in women’s football has grown together in recent years. Such victories have become rare at this level.
It is all the more important what Barcelona have achieved. Despite the sometimes desolate performance, Wolfsburg is one of the best teams in the world – especially in the game against the ball. But they had nothing to oppose the opponents.
Barca with a demonstration for Wolfsburg and all women’s football
The ball ran through the stadium as if pulled on a string. On one side, six or seven Barca players gathered in a confined space to free themselves within seconds with a fast-paced short pass and then play a diagonal side shift that completely opened up Wolfsburg’s defense.
It was a demonstration – for the women of Wolfsburg, but also for women’s football as a whole. It was the look into the future that clearly shows how capable this sport is of developing. Barcelona are ahead of their time and therefore far stronger than the competition. A long-term process that was already indicated in 2019, when Bayern saw little of the ball in the semi-final duel.
A team that will certainly be led by world footballer Alexia Putellas, but has so many more faces that it would not be fair to single out one of them. FC Barcelona is a style-defining player in women’s football. At the moment, the speed, the technical and tactical quality and the small number of mistakes may still be the big exception. But Barca is just the beginning. They are the opportunity to see the future of women’s football today. With all its speed, aesthetics and dynamics.
quote of the week
“If you don’t go two meters against Barca, then this team has enough time to find space. We were stalled today, maybe because of the scenery and the importance of the game.” – Tommy Stroot in club media.
3. Quo vadis, Germany?
However, it is questionable how long it will take in Germany before such a level can be reached. The last few weeks have been sobering again. Starting with the fact that Bayern have not been able to keep up with Wolfsburg for four reasons. In the direct duels it shows again and again how big the gap between the two strongest teams in the Bundesliga is.
Also read: The FCB women will probably remain without a title – is it all just bad luck or home-made problems?
But in general, the hype that was felt to some extent in Germany around the Champions League quarter-finals has largely disappeared again. The semi-finals of the DFB Cup, which was hidden like an almost untraceable Easter egg at lunchtime on Easter Sunday, and the hearty defeat of VfL Wolfsburg last weekend are just two possible causes.
In addition, the DFB selection also does not know how to convince. The recent 3-2 defeat by Serbia was another setback just before what is perhaps the most important tournament in recent women’s football history. The international matches are also so hidden on German television that the last few games probably went unnoticed by many.
The fact that the DFB seems to be building on the fact that this tournament in Germany will automatically generate a lot of hype is rather worrying. An early retirement of the team of national coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg cannot be ruled out at the moment – and then?
In Germany, Barcelona and England are currently being looked at with big eyes. Not everything is running smoothly there either, but progress is being made because those responsible are giving serious thought and are working on it sustainably. With VfL Wolfsburg, the last big figurehead of the former pioneering nation seems to be having big problems staying at the top. There are enough warning signs for the DFB. The clubs alone will not be able to carry the change.
This is how it goes now
The Bundesliga is pausing next weekend. For VfL Wolfsburg, however, it will be about polishing their own reputation again. They will not be able to turn the 1: 5 against FC Barcelona, but an appropriate farewell to this year’s Champions League season must be the goal. Especially with a view to the upcoming tasks in the Bundesliga and in the cup final against Potsdam.
- Wolfsburg – Barcelona (first leg: 1:5, Saturday, April 30, 6:00 p.m., DAZN)
- Paris – Lyon (2:3, Saturday 30 April 21:00, DAZN)
- Twitter: Justin Kraft: The table after the 20th matchday
The German women’s national soccer team has to do without one of their leading players at the European Championship finals in England. Melanie Leupolz, who plays football at Chelsea London in England, is expecting her first child. (Teaser picture: picture alliance / Eibner press photo / EIBNER / Michael Memmler) © ProSiebenSat.1