50 212 fans, that’s a fantastic figure number. Of course, it was a bank holiday in Germany and there was a German team involved but clearly they love their women’s football there.
The game was top quality and you expect it from two full time professional teams. I think it is clear, there is now a gap between the English teams that train 2 or 3 times a week and those elite european side. This is simply due to those extra hours of training where players train on their individual technique and fitness as well as team tactics and general teamwork.
Frankfurt started very well until they gave away a stupid penalty that Le Sommer duly transformed. Then Lyon scored again from a magnificent Abily lob from 30 yards and that was it. Both side missed many chance and the final score was 2-0 but it could as well been 5-2.
So if we want to compare the Champions League from the quarter-finals onwards to the WSL:
The tactical side seems a lot more developped. The physical intensity is a bit higher but not by much as the English “get stuck in” motto and regular individual fitness training put the English players level with those professional players.
The main difference really is found on individual skill and technique as the professional players have time to develop those and translate those things on the pitch.
Also the attacking football possession based orientated is a lot more present than in most WSL side although this season many teams seem to have decided to play the passing game.
But when you look at Arsenal playing both games against Frankfurt with 3 defensive/relaying type midfield and no playmaker, you can ask some questions really. Why that lack of attacking instinct. With London the place for the 2012/13 final, let’s hope Birmingham and Arsenal will manage to reach that final and entertain the local fans.