Match report as Wolfsburg crushed Arsenal’s European dream with a dramatic extra-time win to reach the Champions final, which they will contest against Barcelona on June 3
Wolfsburg players celebrate after winning a dramatic Women’s Champions League semi-final at the Emirates Stadium
Injury-hit Arsenal missed out on the Women’s Champions League final by the narrowest of margins as they were beaten 3-2 by two-time European champions Wolfsburg in a pulsating encounter at a packed Emirates Stadium.
Pauline Bremer struck the winner deep into extra-time to ensure the Frauen-Bundesliga side, who won the competition in 2013 and 2014, will meet heavy favourites Barcelona for the chance to lift the trophy for a third time in Eindhoven on June 3.
The tie, packed with drama, had already hit the headlines pre-game in anticipation of a record crowd in north London, which was confirmed to be in excess of 60,000, but it was Stina Blackstenius who rewrote the script after firing the Gunners ahead in the 11th minute.
Every pass and tackle was being roared by a jubilant crowd, who played their role valiantly throughout, but were not able to inspire the desired outcome as goals from former Gunner Jill Roord (41) and Alexandra Popp (58) either side of the interval turned the tide of the second leg Wolfsburg’s way.
To compound the anguish, Blackstenius had a further strike ruled out for offside by VAR, while Jen Beattie restored brief hope for the hosts by heading home from a deft Lotte Wubben-Moy cross in the 75th minute to force a period of extra-time.
However, the Gunners’ brave efforts were ultimately in vein when, with time running out, Jule Brand pinched the ball from a tired Arsenal backline and laid it on a plate for Bremer to deal the decisive blow.
Wolfsburg will be playing in their sixth European final, having lost their last three in 2016, 2018 and 2020.