Manchester City boasted a 3-0 win over Fiorentina in their Round of 16 Champions League clash on Wednesday. The tie was the first meeting between the teams and hailed the return of Tessal Middag to Manchester.
Roebuck; Bronze, Houghton, Dahlkemper (Morgan ’63), Greenwood, Coombs, Weir (Mewis ’63) , Stanway, Kelly, Hemp (Lavelle ’63), White
Schroffenegger; Cordia, Quinn, Adami (c), Thørgersen, Vigilucci, Neto, Middag, Zanoli (Monnecchi ’76), Sabatino, Baldi (Clelland ’45)
How it played out
Gareth Taylor’s side were keen to show Fiorentina what they were about with Lauren Hemp scoring after less than two minutes from a Chloe Kelly assist.
Just two minutes later the hosts doubled their lead when Ellen White converted a Hemp cross. From there, Fiorentina’s defence were forced to kick into overdrive as City dominated possession. The visitors’ defence stepped up to the challenge admirably.Embed from Getty Images
Man City had several good chances to put the game to bed in the first half. The most promising was a goal-mouth scramble in the 22nd minute where Fiorentina keeper Katja Schroffnegger made several excellent goal-line clearances in quick succession. From there, City continued to press the visitors, however Fiorentina’s defence held firm.
Second half begins
City’s attack was persistent, although at times was not as clinical as would be expected from the team.
Each time the visitors did get the ball, they struggled to commit players in numbers due to City’s high press. The first half ended in much the same way it had progressed.
The Sky Blues were dominant with Fiorentina gaining in confidence. The Italian side seemed to have worked out the best way around the Manchester City pressure.Embed from Getty Images
During the opening 20 minutes of the second half, the Serie A side seemed reinvigorated. Fiorentina manager Antonio Cicotta could be heard shouting encouragement to his team urging them up the pitch.
The visitors had several breaks towards Ellie Roebuck’s goal with one chance flashing just wide of the post.
The remainder of the second half fell back into the same rhythm as the first, although Fiorentina did enjoy more frequent spells of possession. In the 88th minute, Sam Mewis capped off the evening to make it 3-0 to City.
The American midfielder converted a Kelly cross to give the forward her second assist of the evening.
Stand out performance
Roebuck often goes unnoticed when compared to some of the superstar names within the Man City setup. The 21-year-old goalkeeper performed perfectly whenever her team called on her.
The No.26 has became a vital presence at the back alongside skipper Steph Houghton. Roebuck’s confidence organising her team is clear for all to see whether during a set piece or open play.
The respect Roebuck’s teammates have for her is evident to all who watch whilst her faith in her defence is equally on display.
The second leg will take place on Thursday 11th March and kick off at 1pm GMT, with City on a 3-0 aggregate.