Daily Digest: Chelsea and Man City set to face stern Champions League tests

In today’s news: Brazil are set to honour star forward Marta, Maggie Alphonsi speaks out on sexist abuse, and a look ahead to tomorrow’s Champions League ties.

Chelsea and Man City bid to make Champions League quarter-finals

Both Chelsea and Man City will continue their Champions League journey’s tomorrow, as they face off against Atlético Madrid and Fiorentina respectively, in the first leg’s of their last 16 encounters.

Atlético, a side who have twice conquered Man City themselves in recent years, will provide a stern test for Emma Hayes’ team, who are still waiting on the fitness of defender Millie Bright.

Man City are on a run of eight consecutive Women’s Super League wins, but also face injury concerns, as Keira Walsh, Lauren Hemp and Demi Stokes all remain doubtful.

Fiorentina enter tomorrow’s game having been on an impressive run of form in 2021. The Italian side won their first three domestic league games to start the year, before succumbing to Florentia 2-0 last weekend.


Brazil announces Women’s Football Day in honour of Marta

The Legislative Assembly of the State of Rio de Janeiro has announced that February 19th will be regarded as Women’s Football Day, in honour of Brazilian legend Marta.

Marta is regarded as one the greatest women’s footballers to have ever graced the game and holds countless records for her county, including the most goals scored for Brazil with 109, the most goals scored in FIFA World Cup’s with 17, and the first footballer to score at five separate World Cup tournaments.

Despite being 35 years of age, Marta continues to represent her country even now and recently scored in Brazil’s 4-1 win over Argentina in the SheBelieves Cup.

Named FIFA’s World Player of the Year on six separate occasions, this specific date was chosen to commemorate Marta’s birthday, with the aim being to increase the popularity of Women's football in Brazil.


Tammy Beaumont moves to the top of the ODI batting rankings

England opener Tammy Beaumont has replaced Australian Captain Meg Lanning at the top of the ICC One-Day-International player rankings.

Beaumont scored three successive half-centuries in England’s recent ODI series win against New Zealand and has moved up five places to claim the top spot.

This is the first time Beaumont has held this honour, despite being named player of the tournament at the 2017 Cricket World Cup, which England won.

All-rounder Nat Sciver also moved up into the top 10 of the batting rankings, thanks to her match-winning knock of 63 in the second ODI.

England start their T20 International series against New Zealand in Wellington on the 3rd March.


Jones wins Premier 15’s Player of the Month Award

Wasps ladies fly-half Megan Jones has won the Allianz Premier 15’s Player of the Month award for February.

The 24-year-old, who has 10 caps for England and is a former Team GB sevens player, scored 30 points across three games in February and helped Wasps up to fourth in the table.

Jones inspired Wasps to victory over league leaders Saracens last Saturday, scoring 16 points including a scintillating solo effort early on.

Wasps’ next game is against Exeter Chiefs Women on Saturday 6th March.


Former England star Maggie Alphonsi speaks out on sexist abuse

England Rugby legend Maggie Alphonsi has condemned the sexist abuse directed towards BBC Journalist Sonja McLaughlan during England’s Six Nations defeat to Wales last weekend.

A former International Rugby Player of the Year, and a member of the World Rugby Hall of Fame, Alphonsi spoke to BBC Woman’s Hour about the sexist comments she received recently when she was a pundit for Italy’s game against France.

Alphonsi stressed that Rugby itself is neither a women’s sport nor a men's sport, but just a sport, urging others to come forward and challenge the notion that women should not be able to have an opinion on the sport.

“It’s important that people like me and many other women that work in the studio or who are commentators, continue to call out negative abuse like this because we’ve got to have a platform and we’ve got to keep doing our job and keep doing it well.”

Olly Roberts

Interested in: West Ham United

Editorial Assistant and Senior Writer for GiveMeSportWomen. Once got given an Easter egg from David Moyes