Arsenal exited the UEFA Women's Champions League at the quarter-final stage with a whimper on Thursday night, falling to a 2-0 defeat against Wolfsburg.
With the scores level at 1-1 from the first leg, Jonas Eidevall's side travelled to Germany hopeful of sealing passage to the last four. However, the Gunners fell well short of their usual high standards, allowing Wolfsburg to dominate proceedings and canter into the next round.
The hosts opened the scoring inside 10 minutes when Arsenal failed to deal with a corner and Jill Roord – who left north London last summer – scrambled the ball over the line.
Wolfsburg were celebrating again soon after, only for the assistant referee's flag to deny Tabea Wassmuth her 10th Champions League goal of the season. Fortunately for Arsenal – who made a string of basic errors in the early throws – a lengthy VAR check did not overturn this decision.
The German side continued to have the better of the first half, with Svenja Huth seeing a drilled effort kept out by the legs of Manuela Zinsberger just after the half-hour mark. Arsenal, in stark contrast, barely ventured into the final third before the interval.
The Gunners brought Caitlin Foord on at half-time and improved in the second period, limiting their opponents to pot shots at goal. Creativity remained an issue, though Stina Blackstenius did get more into the game, finding herself denied at the front post with 25 minutes left to play.
Arsenal's improvement was eventually undone when Leah Williamson stuck out a boot to clear Sveindis Jane Jonsdottir's cross, which inadvertently diverted the ball through Zinsberger's leg and into the back of the net.
Seconds after the restart, both Vivianne Miedema and Williamson struck the woodwork from a set piece, much to the disbelief of Eidevall on the touchline.
This would prove to be a pivotal moment in the tie, with Arsenal losing hope and failing to trouble Almuth Schult in the opposing goal again.
Wolfsburg now face the daunting task of beating reigning champions Barcelona in the semis, who smashed Real Madrid 8-3 on aggregate in their quarter-final. Meanwhile, the Gunners will be fully focussed on taking the WSL title off of Chelsea.
Arsenal player ratings
1. Goalkeeper & defenders
Manuela Zinsberger (GK) - 6/10 - Spilled a cross early on and could have been punished. Recovered well to make several good saves, before being nutmegged by Williamson.
Lotte Wubben-Moy (CB) - 6/10 - A threat from set pieces and defended well one-on-one.
Leah Williamson (CB) - 7/10 - She read the majority of Wolfsburg's through balls expertly and competently distributed from the heart of defence. So unlucky for the own goal, but it was an error nonetheless.
Steph Catley (CB) - 7/10 - Made a couple of excellent recovery tackles to keep the opposition at bay. Delivery from set pieces was pretty good too.
2. Wing-backs & midfielders
Noelle Maritz (RWB) - 5/10 - Defensively she was caused significant problems by the pacy Jonsdottir. Offered little in attack.
Kim Little (CM) - 7/10 - Arsenal's best midfielder. She was well up for the fight and drove her side forward with some explosive bursts through the middle.
Vivianne Miedema (CM) - 4/10 - Well off her best in the first half, surrendering possession far too easily. Improved somewhat when she got closer to the goal in the second period, striking the bar from a header.
Frida Maanum (CM) - 4/10 - A pretty stodgy performance. She was hooked off for Jordan Nobbs with 20 minutes left to play.
Katie McCabe (LWB) - 4/10 - Started off as a wing-back, where she struggled, both positionally and on the ball. Looked slightly more comfortable when Arsenal switched to a back four.
Tobin Heath (ST) - 3/10 - Seriously struggled to make anything close to an impact before being dragged off at half time.
Stina Blackstenius (ST) - 4/10 - Only contribution in the first half was mis-controlling the ball out of play. Made some good runs in the second period, but her teammates neglected to pick her out.
Caitlin Foord (ST) - 6/10 - Found some space down the left-hand side, injecting the Arsenal attack with some threat.
Nikita Parris (LM) - 6/10 - Probably should have had a penalty when Schult clipped her legs.
Jordan Nobbs (CM) - 6/10
Laura Wienroither (RB) - N/A
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