Man City knocked out of Champions League by Barcelona despite valiant quarter-final fightback

Man City 2-1 Barcelona (2-4 agg): Hosts battled back but failed to overturn a huge first-leg deficit

Sports Staff
Wednesday 31 March 2021 19:08
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<p>Caroline Weir (right) is challenged by Vicky Losada</p>

Caroline Weir (right) is challenged by Vicky Losada

Manchester City were knocked out of the Women’s Champions League by Barcelona despite a 2-1 win in the quarter-final second leg.

A week on from their 3-0 first-leg loss in Monza, City’s hopes of turning the tie around at the Academy Stadium were boosted in the 20th minute by Janine Beckie’s close-range finish.

But after some great work from Ellie Roebuck and Lucy Bronze to keep Barca at bay, the visitors then netted just before the hour mark through Asisat Oshoala.

Left requiring something close to a miracle, City replied with a 68th-minute Sam Mewis penalty but could add nothing further as they lost 4-2 on aggregate.

Barca advance to a semi-final meeting with either holders Lyon or Paris St Germain - the champions lead 1-0 from their first leg.

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As well as again being without injured skipper Steph Houghton, who sat out for a fifth successive game, City headed into the match with forward Lauren Hemp absent due to an infection.

They made a bright start to the contest, which included Rose Lavelle sending a looping effort on to the roof of the net.

And they grabbed a goal when Alex Greenwood’s corner was headed down by Mewis and the ball went via Abby Dahlkemper to Beckie, who stroked it in.

City breathed a sigh of relief in the 33rd minute when Roebuck parried a Caroline Graham Hansen shot and former Liverpool and Arsenal forward Oshoala’s follow-up effort was kept out by a superb intervention by Bronze.

And after Beckie had seen a shot pushed over by Sandra Panos, Oshoala was then denied again by Bronze, who blocked on the line after the Nigerian’s initial effort had been saved by Roebuck.

Ellen White headed off-target early in the second half before Oshoala threatened again, with Roebuck doing well to come out and thwart her.

Oshoala then did find the target when Greenwood’s attempted clearance was blocked. The ball came to Hansen, she teed up Oshoala for a simple finish, and City were left with what looked a near-impossible task on their hands.

They got what proved the winner on the day nine minutes later when White was fouled by Leila Ouahabi and Mewis struck the resulting penalty past Panos, who had saved one from Chloe Kelly in the first leg.

Gareth Taylor’s side were then unable to worry their opponents with any further goals as their campaign came to an end and Barca sealed a last-four spot.

PA

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