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ARSENAL Women beat Juventus Women 1-0 to consolidate their lead at the top of Champions League Group C on a bitterly cold evening in north London.

Viv Miedema put the home side ahead with a well-taken rising finish on the half volley from Stina Blackstenius cross after only 16 minutes, as the home side dominated throughout the match.

That said, the gap between them and their new closest challengers, Germany (2nd, up one place), is narrowing, with USA having lost three of their last four matches, including a 2-1 defeat to the Germans.

Sweden have dropped one place to the third, ahead of England (4th) and France (5th). Canada (6th) are closing in on the top 5, while Spain (7th) have lost a little ground.

Kelly Simmons, the director of the women's professional game, also says average attendances in the Women's Championship are up by 85%.

"The Lionesses' victory propelled the women's game in this country to new levels," said Simmons "It was important for us to capture and capitalise on that momentum."

Arsenal's game against Tottenham at Emirates Stadium in September set a WSL record attendance of 47,367.

The former player, who retired earlier this year, has teamed up with Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham and the FA to encourage girls into the sport.

Across the UK 63% of girls have access to football as an option in school, but the figure for Greater Manchester is similar.

Andy Burnham wants it to be an opportunity to raise the profile of the game within schools:

Victory would have confirmed Chelsea's place in the Women's Champions League quarter-finals with two games to spare.

However, they fell behind to Caroline Weir's first-half strike after goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger's error.

Match Stats: (Real-Chelsea)
Possession: 40%-60%
Shots: 8-11
Shots on Target: 4-3
Corners: 4-5
Fouls: 13-12

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