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Catalans half way through the semi-final, Barcelona – Manchester City, 3-0

Barcelona – Manchester City, 3-0. Blaugrana got themselves a nice advantage against Manchester City before the return leg. Goals from Azizat Oshoala, Mariona Caldentey and Jennifer Hermoso should be enough to confirm the semifinal spot next week.

1st half

Both sides came to Monza, Italy, where the match was played due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, with convincing victories: City defeated Bristol City and Barcelona thrashed Rayo Vallecano. The guests started without their captain, Steph Houghton, who picked up an injury earlier this month in a match against Fiorentina. Barcelona enjoyed most of the possession in the early stages and should have broken the dreadlock in the 17th minute but Oshoala’s side-footed effort in the far corner, was denied superbly by Ellie Roebuck. The City’s goalkeeper had to intervene again after Aitana Bonmati’s crisp side-footed strike. City finally got some action, but Sandra Panos saved Caroline Weir’s acrobatic strike that lacked some power and Chloe Kelly’s header that lacked some precision. Roebuck was the busier keeper, having to deal with Alexia’s header after a cross from Mariona Caldentey. Barcelona finally got the opener in the 35th minute. Azizat Oshoala she collected Mariona’s pass before and send a right-footed strike into the far corner, leaving Roebuck no chance. Barcelona nearly doubled their lead a few minutes later, but Roebuck was quick to rush out and dive at Graham Hansen’s feet to take the ball away from her. Just before the break, City finally got the ball into the net but Sam Mewis began her run too early and is flagged for offside. Manchester City ended the first half just one goal down, thanks to the outstanding performance of Ellie Roebuck.

2nd half

7 minutes into the second half, the substitute Demi Stokes mistimed a challenge on Oshoala in the area and the referee had no choice but to reward the penalty and caution Stokes for the challenge. Mariona Caldentey stepped up and doubled the lead, despite Roebuck guessing the way. City got a chance to get back into the game 5 minutes later. Lauren Hemp’s run into the box is brought to a halt by María León’s outstretched leg and Citiziens were given a penalty. But Kelly’s penalty was too close to the centre of the goal and Sandra Paños managed to keep the clean sheet. The 2nd placed Super League team pushed higher, wanting their crucial away goal. Paños managed to stop Ellen White’s shot after Kelly’s low cross and Hemp’s shot lacked precision. In the closing stage, Barcelona managed to score the third, and potentially decisive, as Jennifer Hermoso converted the rebound after Roebuck had forced Putellas’ attempt onto the post.

Well deserved 3-0 win for Barcelona that opens the door to semifinal for the Catalans. City will regret their missed penalty, but the superiority of the Catalan side was quite evident today. The English team will need a different kind of performance in the second leg in order to turn the result around against the side, that have not conceded two goals in a game since the 2019 Champions League Final.


“I think there were chances. There is no doubt they edged it on chances created, but we certainly had a number of good opportunities. I have just spoken to the girls and said we are still capable of scoring the goals to go through, and that’s what we’ll work on. There was nothing that took us by surprise. Once we found our rhythm within the game we dealt with that a little bit better. I don’t think it is a tough task [to score three goals in the second leg]. I think we can turn this around. The way this team has played, I believe we can do it.” – Gareth Taylor, Manchester City’s head coach

“It was a very good game. It was one of the best we have played. It showed that we have been faithful to our style, managing the moments when we have suffered. But we were able to keep the ball where we wanted it. We’re very happy with the result and also with the feeling. City are second in the best league in the world and they are a great team with three world champions and many internationals. They are a very difficult team to beat. When we get our act together, we can beat any team in Europe. But nothing is done yet, we have to continue: first, prepare for the match against Sevilla and then the match in Manchester.” – Lluis Cortes, Barcelona’s head coach


FC Barcelona – Manchester City 3-0 (1-0) 
Scorers: 35′ Azizat Oshoala (B), 53′ Mariona Caldentey (B) pen, 86+ Jennifer Hermoso (B)
Yellow cards: 14′ Caroline Weir (M), 52′ Demi Stokes (M), 86′ Patri Guijarro (B)
Events: 56′ Sandra Panos (B) saved Chloe Kelly’s penalty (M)

2nd leg on 31st of March at 17.00 CET

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