Preview: Fiorentina vs Manchester City in UWCL second leg

Manchester City's Georgia Stanway competes against Fiorentina's Tessel Middag.
Manchester, England, March 3rd 2 Georgia Stanway 10 Manchester City left competing against Tessel Middag 14 Fiorentina during the UEFA Women s Champions League round of 16 match between Manchester City and Fiorentina at the Academy Stadium, Manchester, UK.

Manchester City will no doubt be eager to travel to Florence for the second leg of their Champions League tie against Fiorentina. The hosts of the leg will need at least four goals in order to progress to the next round.

Since the two sides met last Wednesday, Fiorentina have suffered a defeat at the hands of fellow Serie A side Sassuolo. Manchester City on the other hand enjoyed a hard fought victory over Willy Kirk’s Everton side with a late Keira Walsh goal that bagged the Sky Blues all three points.

Fiorentina currently sit in fifth place tied on points with Florentia whilst Gareth Taylor’s side sit second in the WSL, two points behind league leaders Chelsea. With Manchester City sitting on a three-goal lead from the first round, the hosts will be looking for a way to put themselves through from the round of 16.

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How the first round played out

During the first leg of the tie, Manchester City gave themselves a two goal lead over Fiorentina in less than four minutes. The Italian side proved that they were going to fight for the win however with exceptional defending on show from the time Ellen White’s goal found the back of the visitors net. In the second half, Fiorentina had some excellent chances however Ellie Roebuck’s quick reactions prevented the home side conceding a damaging away goal.

With the Italian side typically performing better away from home the challenge they will face is not easily dismissed. With Fiorentina’s defence proving a real sticking point for the Sky Blues they will be pivotal in the return fixture. Shutting down Chloe Kelly’s darting runs and preventing Ellen White finding her usual dangerous positions the Italian back line held Manchester City at two until Sam Mewis capped off the scoring in the 89th minute.

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Ones to watch

Sara Baldi: The Fiorentina striker was impressive from the off during the first leg. Her quick runs meant she was frequently the only player in purple pushing up the field. The No.22 could play a pivotal role in the hosts attacking endeavours with her quick turns.

Rose Lavelle: The American international came on in the second half of last Wednesday’s game. Despite not starting the midfielder had an almost immediate impact especially when paring up with national team mate Mewis.

Manchester City defender Aoife Mannion could also be one to watch if the No.2 is involved. Mannion is currently returning from an ACL injury suffered against Atletico Madrid in October 2019. Mannion made her return in the 4-1 victory over West Ham on January 31.

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