Euro tilt starts well for WSL duo
Arsenal and Birmingham start Champions League campaigns with wins.
Arsenal and Birmingham both enjoyed memorable wins in a day of Women's Champions League action.
The Gunners produced a stunning 3-0 victory away in Barcelona to put one foot in the last 16 of the Women's Champions League, while earlier in the day Blues scored a 2-0 victory over Verona on their European debut.
In Spain, Jennifer Beattie, Jordan Nobbs and Katie Chapman all scored for the 2007 winners Arsenal in a first-leg match played in the Mini Estadi, next to Barcelona's Nou Camp stadium.
Barca's women's team are not quite the same force as the men's side - this is their first year in Europe - but it was still a fine victory for Laura Harvey's side.
Goalkeeper Emma Byrne made some good saves early on to keep them in the game before Beattie headed home a Kim Little corner after 31 minutes.
Ellen White almost doubled the lead before the break but the second goal eventually came after 55 minutes when Nobbs struck from 25 yards.
Steph Houghton then hit the woodwork before the Team GB and England star thundered in a free-kick that goalkeeper Sullastres could only parry, allowing Chapman to score from the rebound
Arsenal will be strong favourites to go through when they play in next week's home leg.
Meanwhile Birmingham - making their Women's Champions League bow - scored twice in the second half to make it an English double.
After a scrappy first half against Italian club Verona, Rachel Williams opened the scoring from close range six minutes after the break - lashing home from close range.
Kerys Harrop then sealed victory by making it 2-0 in the 70th minute, pouncing on a rebound to thump home a second Birmingham goal.
It could have been even better for Birmingham if Jodie Taylor's effort in injury time had crept over the line rather than hitting the post. But even so they have a good lead to take to Italy.
Birmingham boss, David Parker, was delighted with the first-leg win: "Away goals will absolutely cost you in this competition and we wanted to make sure we got in at half-time without conceding.
"We controlled the first half. In the second half the game got stretched a little bit more but we've taken our chances.
"Unfortunately we didn't get the third at the end which would have been absolutely the icing on the cake but we'll take 2-0 every time."
He added: "It is just a matter of enjoying ourselves – this is a great platform for Birmingham City to put ourselves on the map in Europe and we want more of that and hopefully to go through to the last 16."