For the first time in their history, Real Madrid prepared to feature in the Champions League in a clash against Manchester City.
Last season’s Women’s Super League runners-up made the journey to Spain ahead of their league opener away to Everton this weekend. With both teams looking to secure a spot in the next round in Europe, the fixture was sure to prove exciting.
Misa; K.Robles, Ivana (c), Peter, Teresa, Olga, Kaci, Athenea, Lucia Rodríguez, Nahikari, Esther
Benameur-Taieb; Morgan, Houghton (c), Greenwood, Stokes, Losada, Coombs, Weir, Beckie, Hemp, ShawEmbed from Getty Images
How it went
The first half was full of extended periods of possession for both sides. The visitors initially spent the first spell of the game with almost total dominance of the ball, forcing Spanish goalkeeper Misa Rodríguez to make several saves to keep the tie at a draw.
It wasn’t long however before Madrid began to force their opponents back, leaving Karima Benameur-Taieb scrambling to clear the ball following several errors by her team.
A coming together in the Real Madrid penalty area saw the hosts awarded a penalty shortly before half-time. Esther Gonzalez’s shot however sailed harmlessly over the crossbar, keeping the tie goalless. A final chance for Madrid saw Benameur-Taieb make an excellent save to keep her side in the tie.
The second half brought a renewed energy to the game. Just seconds after the game got back underway, City No.19 Caroline Weir put the visitors ahead.
The game seemed like it would go the visitors’ way until a stoppage time goal from Robles forced the score level ahead of the return leg in Manchester.Embed from Getty Images
Post match thoughts
Reflecting on the late equaliser, Gareth Taylor seemed optimistic about his team’s overall performance.
“I’d probably have to say a draws a fair result overall. I think with chances and they were showing a threat down the right side for most of the evening. If we’d have come away with a 1-0 win we wouldn’t have kidded ourselves, there’s still work to do.”
While Taylor was positive about the tie, especially when considering how short his side’s pre-season had been, he also admitted his frustration about the late goal they conceded.
“There were some good parts to it, it’s just a little bit disappointing that we conceded late on like that.”
The second leg will be played at the City Football Academy next Wednesday. Kick-off is scheduled for 19:00 BST.