Arsenal Women striker Alessia Russo scored a brace in their Champions League qualifier against Paris FC, but missed her spot-kick as the Gunners lost 4-2 on penalties.
Jonas Eidevall’s side reached the Women’s Champions League semi-finals last season, but will not be participating in the competition this year after a shock defeat to Paris FC.
Arsenal conceded twice in two minutes at the start of the second-half before Russo pulled one back in the 80th minute. Jen Beattie then netted an equaliser in the sixth minute of stoppage time to take the game to extra-time.
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After goals from Paris’ Julie Soyer and Arsenal’s Russo, the tie went to penalties after a 3-3 draw. Russo missed her penalty as Eidevall’s team exited the Champions League before the group stages.
Russo, 24, left Manchester United to join Arsenal on a free transfer this summer after the Red Devils rejected a world-record bid in January.
She played a key role in the England Lionesses’ run to the Women’s World Cup final in August and has been one of the WSL’s deadliest strikers over the past few years.
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Russo to Arsenal
Russo scored 27 goals in 59 Man Utd appearances after joining the club in 2020.
First training session with The Arsenal.
— Arsenal Women (@ArsenalWFC) August 29, 2023
However, she stated that her desire to play in the Women’s Champions League was one major reason for her summer transfer to Arsenal.
But, the Gunners will not be competing in Europe’s elite club competition, whereas her former club Man Utd will be in the Women’s Champions League after finishing second in the WSL last season. Arsenal finished third by comparison.
Arsenal saw off Swedish side Linkoping in their first qualifying fixture, with goals from Caitlin Foord, Lina Hurtig and Stina Blackstenius sealing a 3-0 victory.
However, they fell at the second hurdle with defeat on penalties to Paris FC, with Russo missing a crucial spot-kick.