Manchester City bid for more silverware in Champions League

Manchester City have had a huge year in 2016. Not only did they win the Women’s Super League title for the first time in the club’s history, they had further success recently against Birmingham in the final of the Women’s Continental Cup where they secured the trophy for a second time.

The success of the Manchester club in the biggest league in women’s football anywhere in the world comes just three years after they were controversially installed into the Super League. Despite only finishing fourth in the 2016 Premier League, City were handed a place in the elite competition and they have justified that move by their quick success.

Manchester City Crest
Manchester City Crest” (CC BY 2.0) by gutsgaming

City went through their 2016 Super League campaign unbeaten. They went into their final game at home to Chelsea, which attracted a crowd of more than 4,000, needing to just avoid defeat against the West London side to win the title. They won the game 2-0 to ensure they ended as unbeaten champions.

Scotland’s Jane Ross finished the season as the top goalscorer in the league with eight goals, while Toni Duggan and Georgia Stanway contributed to the team’s goal tally with five and four to name, respectively.

City’s biggest win of the season came against Doncaster where they hit six past the Yorkshire side at home in an emphatic display. They only twice dropped points throughout the season when they drew to Liverpool in both of their games against the Merseyside outfit.

The Super League champions were made to work hard for their second trophy of 2016 as they were forced into extra-time by Birmingham after a goalless 90 minutes. England’s Lucy Bronze found the winner for Nick Cushing’s side when she headed home in the additional 30 minutes of play.

City will begin their 2016-17 Champions League campaign in the round of 32 where they have a two-legged tie against Russia’s Zvezda Perm to contend with. The first leg will take place in England where the Super League winners will be hoping to strike an advantage to take with them for the return leg in Russia. They are 1-6 in the Champions League betting to win the opening game of that encounter.

If successful against Zvezda Perm, City will then reach the last 16 of the competition for their first time in their history.

No English side has won the women’s Champions League since it was rebranded and restructured in 2009. Arsenal did though win the UEFA Women’s Cup in 2007 when they beat Umea UK from Sweden 1-0 over a two-legged final.

Big Screen at Stamford Bridge stadium
Big screen inside Stamford Bridge” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Jason Bagley

City are joined in this year’s competition by Chelsea. The Super League runners-up have a tough round of 32 draw against German side Wolfsburg. Like City, Chelsea were at home in their first leg and then have to travel to Germany for the return fixture.

Chelsea’s opening leg of their Champions League tie was played at Stamford Bridge, rather than their usual home of Staines Town’s Wheatsheaf Park. It was the first time the women’s team will have played a game at the home of the men’s team.

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