Arsenal Women boss Jonas Eidevall says the fact there are two English sides in the Women’s Champions League semi-finals this season is a testament to the strength of the WSL.
The Gunners eliminated Bayern Munich at Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night, while Chelsea defeated holders Lyon on penalties on Thursday evening. Arsenal will play Wolfsburg while Chelsea face Barcelona in the semi-finals. Eidevall says he watched the Chelsea game on Thursday.
“For once I did watch, I watched both Champions League games just for entertainment and I wasn’t disappointed! The Chelsea game had a bit of everything.
“Congratulations to Chelsea, it’s a huge achievement for English women’s club football to have two teams in the last four of the Champions League.
“That is not only something Arsenal and Chelsea should be proud of but the whole WSL and the FA. There are a lot of people who worked extremely hard over many years to help something like this become a reality.”
🗣️ “I’m so happy for English football, both teams are through.”
— Fanzine WSL (@FanzineWSL) March 31, 2023
Eidevall was asked what this says about the strength of the English league. “It says a lot, we also have Manchester United and Manchester City, who are playing incredibly well. They also have the quality to go very far in Europe.
“That means we are playing a lot of games which are really challenging. But not only them, you see Aston Villa and the football they are producing, they are playing at a very high level.
“I think to only speak of four might be a mistake, there will be more clubs coming and this will be the strength for the league because no other European country has at this moment, a league that has so much competition and so much drama, so much entertainment.
“Hopefully that can be a real driving force for investment to get the best players in Europe coming to play in England and making it the strongest league.”
Arsenal knocked Bayern Munich out in front of 20,000 fans at Emirates Stadium on Wednesday evening and, at time of writing on Friday afternoon, have already sold over 10,000 tickets for the semi-final second leg against Wolfsburg. The women’s team have previously played in front of crowds of over 40,000 on three occasions at the Emirates this season.
A quick @UWCL ticket update, Gooners…
10,000 TICKETS SOLD IN TWO DAYS 😮
Keep this incredible support going! 👏
— Arsenal Women (@ArsenalWFC) March 31, 2023
“It is not routine in the sense that we don’t feel grateful for it. It feels amazing every time we can go out and play in front of these big crowds, especially with our fans,” Eidevall explained. “It is a massive part of the strong performance we had against Bayern Munich was the supporters.
“We are all filled with dreams and you are allowed to dream when you are in a semi-final because you are not very far away from playing a final. What if we can make it a sellout game? What if we can make it the best atmosphere we have played for this season?
“I think it is possible, a dream can become a possibility, continue to buy tickets and be part of something special. I have the sense that history is changing in front of our eyes and that is special.”