Bayern Munich did not become German champions last year despite 55 out of a possible 66 points. VfL Wolfsburg did not become German champion in 2021 despite 59 out of a possible 66 points. Every single one of the rare point losses of the two teams that have dominated everything for a decade now can change the balance of power at the top of the women’s soccer Bundesliga. All the more important is the performance in the direct duels between the two permanent rivals, which are decisive for the championship. The summit meeting on Saturday could have brought about a preliminary decision in the title race at the end of March – for the “wolves”. Instead, the league is now heading for an extremely exciting final sprint.
With the 1-0 home win, FCB pushed past VfL by a point and have the better cards going into the last six games. Quite surprisingly, within the industry, the even more exquisitely staffed Lower Saxony women were hardly to be deterred from their eighth championship within the past eleven game years. But the Munich team earned this important stage victory thanks to a courageous, highly intense performance from the start to the final whistle.
“Now we’re top of the table and the pressure is on us. That means we have to keep going the same way and not downshift,” said winning goalscorer Georgia Stanway. The English European champion decided the match with a converted hand penalty in the 83rd minute. “Each individual player is proud of the other and the entire team,” said the German international Klara Bühl.
“The win is very important”
It was actually a real joint effort that Bayern put on the pitch in front of 2,500 spectators on their home campus. With great willingness to run, high pressing and a lot of sharpness in the duels, they never let the reigning double winner get into a rhythm except for one phase after the break. Aluminum hits and the impressive form of the Wolfsburg national goalkeeper Merle Frohms kept the top game goalless for a long time.
The match was perhaps not quite the “great show” and “best advertisement for German women’s football” that Bayern coach Alexander Straus wanted to see. But it was a test of strength at a high tactical, combative and sometimes also playful level between two opponents on an equal footing.
“The win means a lot to us. It’s unusual that we’re no longer chasing,” said midfielder Lina Magull. The Munich women have been doing this in the league for a year and a half now. Now the signs have reversed. Also because the green-whites hardly appeared offensively. VfL trainer Tommy Stroot, despite all the disappointment about the missed opportunity to ensure clear conditions for both in the Champions League quarter-finals in the league a few days before the second leg, tried to accept the new role immediately: “We are now hunters and we are accept the role with all their might.”
Axel Hellmann spoke at the beginning of the week about the fact that the top of the table is only determined by these two clubs, in whatever constellation. The spokesman for Frankfurt Eintracht, whose women’s team is currently in fourth place, said: “We are experiencing a three-class society: Wolfsburg and Bavaria at the top, followed by Hoffenheim and us and then the rest.” conditions and a “lack of excitement” that could hamper the development of women’s football at the other locations.
There is nothing to suggest that this could change in the future. If you look at the squad structure alone, the lead of the rivals is too big. The direct duels between the two will continue to be the greatest attraction. And there could be plenty of that in the crucial weeks of the season. If both survive their European Cup second legs (both start with a 1-0 first-leg win) at Arsenal London (Bayern) and Paris Saint-Germain (Wolfsburg), they will face each other in the semi-finals. The next duel will also take place in Munich in mid-April – in the DFB Cup semifinals. Bayern have a lot of catching up to do in this competition. VfL has won all of the last eight cup finals.