Despite a win, Manchester City was unable to overturn the result from the first leg. A goal from Janine Beckie gave hope to the hosts, but Catalans persisted and qualified for the semi-final. Manchester City – Barcelona, 2-1
Manchester City had a mountain to climb, thanks to Barcelona 3-0 win in the first leg. Scoring three goals against a team that had not conceded in their last 11 games, was a huge challenge for City and just the most loyal fans believed in a miracle.
📋 𝗧𝗘𝗔𝗠 𝗡𝗘𝗪𝗦 📋
⭐ Which players will shine in this one? #UWCL | Quarter-finals
— UEFA Women’s Champions League (@UWCL) March 31, 2021
But City started strong. Immediately, after kick-off, Chloe Kelly sent the cross in and Marta Torrejón had to clear it in front of Janine Beckie waiting at the second post. But the first real chance came in 15th minute. Esme Morgan dribbled through the Barcelona’s defence, passed to Beckie, who stung the palms of Sandra Panos from a tight angle. The Canadian international had more success in the 20th minute. Corner from Alex Grenwood found Sam Mewis. After some pinball, the ball fell into the path of Beckie, who tucked the ball underneath Panos. With City back in the tie, Barcelona started to look for a crucial away goal that would have sealed the tie. Caroline Graham Hansen forced a save from Ellie Roebuck on the right side. Azizat Oshoala got a rebound on a couple of meters away from the goal. But Lucy Bronze denied the Nigerian, what should have been an easy goal, with a phenomenal block while falling. Oshoala was causing a lot of problems for the City’s defence. The forward raced through from the right, trying with a low show, but Roebuck had denied her initial effort. The rebound was rolling towards the line when Lucy Bronze was there again and managed to clear it just in time and City was still in the game.
Our first-half goal…
20' ⚽️ @janinebeckie
— Man City Women (@ManCityWomen) March 31, 2021
Third time’s the charm, and Oshoala finally put herself on the scoresheet with a decisive away goal. A poor clearance from Alex Grenwood deflected the ball to Graham Hansen, who cued the ball back to Oshoala who tucked it home from close-range. Barcelona scored in every away European tie since April 2017. In the 67th minute, Leila tripped Ellen white in the box, giving a City a chance to come closer from the spot. Sam Mewis successfully converted the penalty, but City would still have to score 3 more to go through. Oshoala, who could have easily scored a hat-trick, found herself in a one-on-one situation with Roebuck. But City’s goalkeeper came out on the top again.
🙌 SIIIIIIIIIIIIIII! SOM A SEMIFINALS @UWCL !
— FC Barcelona Femení (@FCBfemeni) March 31, 2021
Despite City being the first side to score more than one goal in a game against Barcelona in 38 matches, the Catalans secured their 4th Champions League semi-final in the last 5 years. They will have to wait for their opponent until 18th of April since the 2nd leg between Lyon and PSG is postponed due to COVID-19 in Lyon’s team.
“I was really proud. We left everything out there, which is what we asked of them. It wasn’t quite enough, although at one stage, it looked like it was on. We started the game really well but this is the highest level and sometimes, you get punished. We knew an away goal would probably kill us and put the tie to bed but up to that point, things looked good and we were gaining opportunities. We knew the chances from the first leg would happen again if we did the right things and if we’d have scored a second, it would have given us impetus. After their goal went in, I thought the character was top – to be able to carry on and continue fighting, playing our way. It was a very good win in difficult circumstances.” – Gareth Taylor, Manchester City head coach
— Andrea Pereira (@apereira5) March 31, 2021
“Amazing, I am just supper happy. We reached our goal to go through to the semifinals. We had really good result from the first game. Today it was a different game, it was difficult, they were playing very well today. We were struggling more today than we did in the first game. All respect to them but at the end we made it.” – Caroline Graham Hansen, Barcelona player
Manchester City – FC Barcelona 2-1 (1-0) agg. 2-4
Scorers: 20′ Janine Beckie (M), 59′ Azizat Oshoala (B), 68′ Sam Mewis (M) pen
Yellow cards: 29′ Patri Guijarro (B), 40′ Chloe Kelly (M)
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)