A Sunderland University study comparing male and female footballers has found women sprint less in the second half of matches and give the ball away more.
Dr Paul Bradley studied 54 men and 59 women playing in the UEFA Champions League.
His research found female players did not run as far at high intensity in the second half, but men did manage as many sprints in both halves.
The research also showed the difference in technical characteristics, with female players losing the ball more frequently and having a lower pass completion rate.
Jen O'Neill, of the women's football website She Kicks, said the difference between the two competitions could explain the difference.
Dr Bradley said he hoped his research could be used to inspire better training schedules for both sexes.