- Russo joined Arsenal on a free transfer
- Scored a brace
- Gunners eliminated in shocking fashion
WHAT HAPPENED? Russo came off the bench against Paris in their first round qualifying clash, with the score at 2-0 thanks to a brace from Mathilde Bourdieu, but the England international halved the deficit in the 80th minute. She capitalised on a defensive error, and shot at goal, with the effort going through the goalkeeper.
Russo's goal was the spark for the Gunners to complete a superb comeback, as Jen Beattie scored in the 96th minute to restore parity and force extra time. Paris FC added a third, but Russo again hit back, scoring just four minutes from the end of extra time. However, the Gunners lost the shootout 4-2, being eliminated from the competition in the process. Russo, heartbreakingly, was one of the players to miss, along with Frida Maanum.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Arsenal have been mainstays in the Champions League in recent seasons, reaching the semi-finals in 2022/23, even beating 2021/22 winners Lyon 5-0 in the group stages. They also reached the quarter-finals the season prior, so to be eliminated before even reaching the group stages is a massive shock. Paris FC, by comparison, last reached the latter stages of the tournament in 2012/13, when they played in the semi-finals.
WHAT NEXT? Arsenal return to domestic action on October 1st against Liverpool looking to put this shock behind them.