In a heavyweight clash usually more suited for the later rounds of the competition, Real Madrid hosted Manchester City in the Champions League.
Misa; K. Robles, Ivana (c), Toletti, Olga, Esther, Weir, Kathellen, Feller, Zornoza, Athenea
Roebuck; Aleixandri, Greenwood (c), Fowler, Kelly, Hemp, Morgan, Ouhabi, Losada, Shaw, Walsh
How it went
With Madrid enjoying the home advantage, Gareth Taylor’s side would have no doubt entered into the clash feeling they were the underdogs. Suffering Champions league defeats at the hands of several Spanish clubs over previous seasons would do little to build confidence as the team prepared to face a high pressing Madrid side. The opening exchanges would see the visitors almost instantly hit with a barrage of attacks.Embed from Getty Images
It would be just 15 minutes before Madrid would find the opener from a familiar face to the visitors. Caroline Weir’s left footed shot inside the box would find the top corner of Ellie Roebuck’s goal. City would struggle to get a real foothold in the game until the final 20 minutes of the fixture. The Blues pushed for a late equaliser, however, Madrid’s defence would prove too much for their opponents to handle.
Manchester City Champions League exit
The loss is the fifth Champions league defeat to a Spanish side in as many seasons. The unfortunate record is something the Manchester City manager was asked about in his post match press conference. “I can’t really comment on any of those other games other than tonight. With Spanish and Italian teams their game management is very good and they are brought up to be streetwise. In saying that I think there were no real dramatics from them tonight.”
The game saw Taylor forced into two injury substitutions. Chloe Kelly had apparently suffered a knock in the first half, however, the No. 9 was given a few minutes in the second half to assess the injury. Taylor said he was “not too sure what it is, hopefully it’s not going to keep her out for too long.”
Club captain Steph Houghton replaced new signing Laia Aleixandri in the second half. When asked about the Spaniard, Taylor said “she suffered a knock on her head that caused swelling to the side of her face and she was really struggling with her vision.”
The Manchester City rumour mill keeps turning
The Manchester City manager was also asked about the rumours surrounding Keira Walsh’s future at the club. Over recent days the 25 year old has been linked with Spanish giants Barcelona. Taylor however was quick to dismiss the speculation, “We’re here to talk about the game not to talk about the players.”
City open their WSL season on 11 September, when they host Arsenal at Academy Stadium. Kickoff is 14:00.