Juventus' European dream dies! Women's Champions League winners and losers as Lyon claim last quarter-final spot

Pauline Peyraud-Magnin Martina Rosucci Juventus Lyon UEFA Women's Champions League 2022-23
The Bianconere needed to beat Lyon to progress to the last eight but they were held to a scoreless draw, meaning the titleholders are through.

Arsenal, Barcelona, Chelsea and Wolfsburg secured seeding spots in the Women's Champions League quarter-finals with wins in their final group stages fixtures, with Bayern Munich, Lyon, Paris Saint-Germain and Roma joining them in the knockouts.

Juventus were the only other team that could've forced there way into the next round with a positive result on matchday six, but reigning champions Lyon kept them quiet in a goal-less draw that saw the French giants progress instead.

We're certainly assured of a tasty draw for the last eight when it takes place in February, such is the quality left in the competition.

But what were the talking points as the group stages concluded? GOAL picks out the winners and losers from the final UWCL action of 2022...

  1. WINNER: Lyon

    WINNER: Lyon

    Lyon were not at their best in Wednesday night's crucial encounter with Juventus, but their experience shone through in a performance that saw the reigning champions manage the game well from a defensive point of view, even if they didn't light things up at the other end.

    Juventus rarely threatened Christiane Endler's goal in a game that the Italians had to win, while the French giants required a draw to make the knockout stage.

    Credit must go to the players for what they have done during a very difficult spell, and to head coach Sonia Bompastor for guiding this injury-ravaged squad through to the knockout rounds, leading the way during a perilous situation with her calm and focused demeanour.

    Now, Lyon can look forward to getting some of their big names back for the knockouts in March as they bid to retain their title.

  2. LOSER: Juventus

    As the clock ticked by in their all-important clash with Lyon, you wondered when Juventus were going to go for it.

    Understandably, they wanted to keep things tight in a game against such an accomplished side, but they needed to score, they needed to win. Sadly, they rarely looked like doing so.

    It wasn't until we passed 80 minutes that the Italians seemed to go forward with a little more urgency. Joe Montemurro's first change of the day came three minutes later, while his only other two were in stoppage time, despite a goal never looking imminent.

    This season hasn't been easy for the Bianconere, who are facing their biggest fight yet for the Serie A title. Now they are out of Europe, domestic success will become even more important.

    Juve are still in the early stages of their journey on the continent so to crash out from such a tough group isn't a disaster. However, after coming through a similarly difficult one last season and running Lyon so close in the quarter-finals, this feels a tad underwhelming.

    That they went out with such a whimper in the crucial game won't help shake that nagging sense of disappointment, either.

  3. WINNER: Chelsea

    WINNER: Chelsea

    After crashing out of the group stages last season –just seven months on from reaching their first Champions League final, Chelsea made it through one of this year's groups of death with a win over Paris Saint-Germain on Thursday.

    The Blues were the scalp claimed in last year's most eye-catching pool, with Juventus and two-time champions Wolfsburg progressing ahead of them. Lightning would not strike twice, though.

    Emma Hayes' side have navigated the last-16 stage rather comfortably this year, despite never really stealing the show. A draw away at Real Madrid was the only time they dropped points – and the Spaniards' goal that night was the only one they conceded.

    Top of the Women's Super League for Christmas as well, Chelsea's results have laid a solid foundation for the second half of the campaign.

    After these players have enjoyed a well-earned rest – many stars having had little time off since the summer's Euros – it's likely their performances are only going to go up a level, too.

    Add that to the laser focus they seem to possess this season and they're going to be a daunting proposition for their rivals.

  4. LOSER: Lieke Martens

    LOSER: Lieke Martens

    It's been a tough start to life in Paris for Lieke Martens, who ended her year by being subbed off at half-time in PSG's must-win game at Stamford Bridge on Thursday.

    The forward touched the ball 26 times in the first 45 minutes – and not once in Chelsea's box, proving unable to create a chance, complete a dribble or win possession back for her team during that time.

    While it highlighted the difficult time that FIFA and UEFA's 2017 Player of the Year is having, her struggles are also the symptoms of a wider problem. With Marie-Antoinette Katoto sidelined with an ACL injury, PSG have been unable to get their attack firing on all cylinders.

    Without a natural No.9 in the box waiting for the service that Martens can provide, it's extremely difficult to ask an attacker to be at their top level given this team operates best with a centre-forward.

    Trying to battle against that while settling into a new club, a new city and a new culture? It was never going to be easy.

    It should be food for thought for PSG going into the January window. To unlock the big talent within their attack, they need a focal point.

  5. WINNER: Arsenal's attack

    WINNER: Arsenal's attack

    On Wednesday night, Beth Mead became the first women's footballer to win the prestigious BBC Sports Personality of the Year award. It was a well-earned achievement after her exploits in England's Euro 2022 triumph.

    Most of her Arsenal team-mates had to watch on their phones as she picked up her trophy, though, loading the stream up on their phones less than two hours after beating Zurich 9-1.

    Adevastating ACL injury sustained last month meant Mead was not involved as the Gunners rounded off their UWCL group stage campaign – nor was Vivianne Miedema, who suffered the same injury just last week and hobbled down the red carpet alongside Mead, both with crutches in hand.

    Arsenal will no doubt miss the prolific duo as they embark on their roads to recovery, but Wednesday's win will have been a nice tonic for fans worried about two key absences.

    Zurich aren't the toughest opponent Arsenal have faced this season but there was plenty of quality on show in the goals they scored against them – whether it was the rockets from Stina Blackstenius and Frida Maanum, or the cute finish from Caitlin Foord.

    There's still a lot of attacking talent in this team and there's real togetherness when it comes to battling through tough injury situations. The Gunners showed that while missing their two first-choice centre-backs – Leah Williamson and Rafaelle – earlier this year.

    That's all with a transfer window approaching in which Jonas Eidevall can bring in reinforcements. If he can continue to make solid signings – as he has done so far – then imagine how strong Arsenal could be when Mead and Miedema do return next season...

  6. LOSER: Damallsvenskan

    LOSER: Damallsvenskan

    Rosengard were one of only three teams not to pick up a single point in the Women's Champions League group stages, which is significant given the history of this club, which was known as Malmo until 2013.

    The Swedish champions have been quarter-finalists in this competition seven times – and as recently as 2021. Once home to Marta, the greatest player the women's game has ever seen, they reached the last four in the 2003-04 season.

    For a long time, clubs from Sweden's Damallsvenskan were among the strongest in the women's game. Umea reached four finals in five seasons at the beginning of the century – winning two. In 2014, Tyreso were part of one of the UWCL's most memorable showpieces, finishing as runners-up after a thrilling game ended 4-3 to Wolfsburg.

    But times have changed. With the money that big clubs are investing into their women's teams now, those in Sweden are unable to compete financially. "We are struggling a little bit with our own identity," Therese Sjogran, sporting director of Rosengard, told GOAL last year.

    These challenges were evident throughout the group stages as the club lost twice to Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Benfica. The latter are a team seriously on the rise and they are helping Portugal hunt down Sweden in the UEFA coefficient rankings.

    The Scandinavian nation do not need to worry too much about losing their third UWCL spot just yet, but this campaign has been a reminder of the difficulties that Damallsvenskan clubs are facing as the game grows.