Women’s Champions League: Chelsea land Atlético, Man City face Fiorentina


The Women’s Super League champions, Chelsea, will play Atlético Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League. The only other British team left in the competition, Manchester City, face Fiorentina.

On 16 January Atlético won the Supercopa final 3-0 against Levante with two goals from the Cameroon forward Ajara Nchout and another from the Venezuela striker Deyna Castellanos. However, Atleti are struggling in the league, sitting fourth, outside the qualification places for next season’s Champions League, and having played a game more than Madrid CFF in fifth and three more than Granadilla Tenerife in sixth.

Emma Hayes’ Chelsea failed to qualify for last season’s Champions League after finishing third in the league. Next season a group stage is being added and England’s third-best team will earn a place in the qualifiers.

Chelsea lost to the eventual winners, Lyon, at the semi-final stage in 2019. A goal from Erin Cuthbert earned a draw in Lyon, before they were defeated 2-1 at Kingsmeadow. They crashed out at the same stage in 2018 to the German champions, Wolfsburg.

City’s opponents, Fiorentina, are last season’s Serie A runners-up. City reached the semi-final in their first two Champions League campaigns in 2017 and 2018, losing to Lyon both times, but were eliminated by Atlético in the last 32 and last 16 in 2018-19 and 2019-20 respectively.

Fiorentina were knocked out by Arsenal in the last 32 last season, losing 6-0 on aggregate. A 95th-minute goal from Daniela Sabatino at Slavia Prague earned a 1-0 win and 3-2 aggregate victory to reach this season’s last 16.

The draw was split into two groups, with teams from the same country unable to meet and Covid travel restrictions taken into consideration.

Lyon, targeting a sixth successive title and eighth overall, will play the Danish side Brøndby. Their opponents in last season’s final, Wolfsburg, start at home against the Norwegian champions, LSK Kvinner.

The matches will be played on 3-4 and 10-11 March. The final is to be played in Gothenburg on 16 May.