Manchester City Women claim first leg victory
Manchester City claimed a 2-0 victory over Linkoping in the First leg of their Uefa Women’s Champions League Quarter Final at the Academy Stadium to give them a healthy lead as they travel to Sweden next week.
Manchester City were inches away from taking the lead on 13 minutes after a nice passage of play saw Jill Scott’s low cross to the back-post sail just wide of goal when Melissa Lawley was lurking to poke the ball into an empty net.
Nick Cushing’s side dominated the opening stages and they created another fine opportunity when Lawley crossed for Jane Ross before her cushioned pullback found Georgia Stanway, but the youngsters strike sailed just over the crossbar.
City were playing some superb football particularly in the wide areas and they were denied an opening goal on 28 minutes only by the frame of the goal as Nikita Parris pulled the ball back for Kiera Walsh before she lashed a powerful effort from range off the post.
Linkopings were denied a penalty on 34 minutes as Anna Oscarsson weaved her way around the City defence into the box before being brought down by Steph Houghton but the referee waved away the Swedish sides claims.
Up the other end however a minute later City were awarded a penalty of their own as Lisa Lantz was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box before she received her marching orders for a second yellow card, it was who Parris took full responsibility from the spot before she blasted the ball into the roof of the net to put City ahead.
It was all one-way traffic with the English side creating all sorts of problems for their opponents as on 44 minutes Lawley fizzed a low cross across the box attempting to pick out Scott, but she was denied by a last-ditch tackle from Janni Amth.
It was the Blues who started the second half the better of the sides as Ross was played in she flicked her effort past Hilda Carlen in the Linkoping goal only for MarijaBanusic to clear the ball off the line.
Cushing’s side were then two ahead on 56 minutes as Ross got on the end of an Abbie McManus cross before she flicked her header into the net despite Carlen getting a hand to the ball.
City had yet another good opening on 68 minutes as they won a free-kick just outside the box after Jane Ross was clattered by Banusic before captain Steph Houghton fired it just over the top of the crossbar as City looked to put the tie to bed.
A minute later they hit the crossbar after McManus picked out Ross yet again with another perfect cross, but her effort hit the bar and bounced over the top.
Linkopings thought they had pulled a goal back on 73 minutes as Filppa Angeidahl peeled her way off the City defence before her powerful strike sailed just wide of Ellie Roebucks right hand post.
Cushing made a significant substitution on 80 minutes as Stanway was replaced by Tessel Middag who was making her return after 10 months out injured.
In the final piece of action in the game It was the Blues who were close to a third as Middag got onto the end of a cross from the right but she flicked her effort just wide of the target in what would have been the perfect return for the midfielder.