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Barcelona Femenino vs Manchester City at U-Power Stadium

U-Power Stadium Referee : Tess Olofsson
24th March 2021 11:30 AM (GMT)
  • 3 Barcelona Femenino

    • ‘35' Asisat Oshoala
    • ‘53' Mariona Caldentey (Pen)
    • ‘86' Jenni Hermoso
  • 0 Manchester City


Commentary By


Ciao! 👋

Signing out after a disappointing Champions League quarter-final first leg against Barcelona.

But don't lose heart, we turn our attentions back to the WSL with the visit of Reading at the weekend before welcoming the Spanish Champions back to the Academy Stadium next Wednesday.

It's a massive week in our season, and there's plenty still to play for.

Until next time, arrivederci!


🗣 Gareth Taylor on conceding chances

"It’s tough and if you have given them space it is even more difficult. 

"We caused them problems at the back and they looked a bit ragged at times, but they capitalised today.

"Going down 2-0 and missing the penalty and chances, it is one to look at next week.

"I am confident we can do it but we have made it tough for ourselves, no doubt about that."


🗣 Gareth Taylor on missing Steph Houghton

"I think you miss anyone of that calibre of player.

"We have missed Steph in previous rounds. I don't want to use that as an excuse. We need to be better in both boxes. 

"We settled into the game, a few tweaks and the players being more familiar with it.

"There was nothing that took us by surprise. Once we found our rhythm within the game we dealt with that a little bit better."


🗣Gareth Taylor on turning things around in the second leg

"I don’t think it is a tough task (to score three goals).

"I think we can turn this around.

"The way this team has played, I believe we can do it."


🗣 Gareth Taylor on the penalty miss

"I think scoring at any time would have changed the complexion because of the away goals.

"Chloe has done great for us this season she has scored goals and pens and I’m not just looking at that penalty miss.

"I want to make sure we don't give away as many opportunities as we did today. We need to be better in both boxes."


🗣Gareth Taylor on being clinical

"I think there were chances. There is no doubt they edged it on chances created, but we certainly had a number of good opportunities and chances.

"We have normally been sticking them away and it could have changed the complexion of the result.

"But I have just spoken to the girls and said we are still capable of scoring that amount of goals to go through and thats what we’ll work on."



A frustrating first leg defeat for City, with goals from Oshoala, Caldentey and Hermoso securing Barcelona a three-goal advantage in Monza.

Here's hoping for as many twists and turns in the second leg as the famous Formula 1 track the Italian City is know for!

A disappointing day at the office for Gareth Taylor's side but it's not over yet, as we welcome the Spanish champions back to the Academy Stadium next week.

Stay tuned for some post-match reaction from the boss.


Last chance saloon

Bright play from Rose Lavelle down the right, she causes some trouble in the Barcelona box with a darting run forward.

The ball eventually falls to Mewis, but her effort is high and wide.


Another City chance

More tireless work down the left from Hemp finds Stanway with her back to goal.

The forward takes a touch, swivels and fires towards goal, but her inventive effort is smothered by Panos.

An away goal would change the whole complexion of the tie, keep fighting, City!


Three for Barcelona

Substitue Jenni Hermoso, Barcelona's top scorer, is in the right place at the right time to smash home after the ball comes crashing back off the post.

A frustrating day at the office for Gareth Taylor's side.


Barcelona yellow card

Patri is cautioned for kicking the ball away after she was flagged for offside.

Five minutes to play - come on, City!


Just wide

Another chance goes begging!

Lauren Hemp finds some space down the left after being teed up by Caroline Weir.

Her effort back across goal has Panos scrambling, but flashes just wide of the far post.



So close to grabbing one back!

Georgia Stanway and Lauren Hemp race down the left, twisting and turning like a chicane in the Monza F1 track!

The ball is cut back to the onrushing Mewis, but she can't make a clean contact and scuffs her effort wide of the far post.

Positive signs once again from City, who go in search of that all important away goal!


City subs 🔁

A double change for City, with Ellen White and Chloe Kelly replaced by Georgia Stanway and Rose Lavelle with 20 to play 👏


White on time

Ellen White goes close once again!

Our forward makes a fantastic darting run across her marker to get on the end of an inviting ball from the right.

She looks to place her effort into the near-post, but it's well saved by Panos.

Plenty still to play for, and City are giving it their all!


Pressing hard

Another chance for Ellen White, who hits the bar from Sam Mewis' clever reverse pass.

The forward didn't quite time her run properly though, and is flagged for offside.

Something to build on as we approach the final 30... keep going, City!


Penalty to Barcelona

Oshoala is felled by Demi Stokes inside the box.

The left back had done tremendously to recover possession in the first instance, but mistimes her second challenge.


Bright start ⭐️

City looking a lot more confident in possession at the start of the second half, finding some joy down the left with Stokes and Hemp combining well.

Hemp looks to have been absolutely clattered on the edge of the box, but referee Tess Olofsson waves away the protests.


City sub 🔁

Our first change of the afternoon sees Demi Stokes make her first appearance since returning from injury.

Esme Morgan makes way.


Half-time ⌚

Oshoala's 35th-minute opener separates the sides at the break.

City will be thankful to Ellie Roebuck for a couple of fine saves, but we've also gone close through Chloe Kelly, Ellen White and Sam Mewis.

All to play for in the second half 🙌


Another chance for City

Alex Greenwood whips a delightful free-kick into the box from the left, which is met expertly by Sam Mewis.

The midfielder slots home, but is denied by the offside flag.

Another confidence boost for Gareth Taylor's side with half-time approaching!


Knocking on the door 🚪

Hemp and White combine again, with the winger sending the captain clean through on goal.

Panos is quickly off her line to block the forward's effort, but White is retrospectively flagged for offside.

A moment of promise ahead of the break!


Goal for Barcelona

Oshoala smashes the hosts in front with a ferocious effort in off the post.

Nothing Ellie Roebuck could do about that.

Come on, City - keep going 💪


Chance for the captain

Ellen White is a whisker away from giving us the lead!

Ellie Roebuck goes long from a goal-kick, with the ball eventually falling to Lauren Hemp.

The winger feeds our captain in down the right, but her first-time effort flashes past the far post.


The Ellie Roebuck show

Our goalkeeper makes another smart save down to her right, this time to deny Alexia.

The midfielder's low drive is tipped around the post for a corner.

What a cracking opening half hour this has been!


Flurry of City chancs

We come alive with two big chances in the space of 30 seconds!

First it's Caroline Weir who goes close, forcing a save from an acrobatic volley on the edge of the box.

And then Chloe Kelly heads over from a dangerous position after connecting with Lauren Hemp's vicious ball across the box.

City growing in confidence!


Goalkeeping heroics

Wow. Ellie Roebuck take a bow! 👏

The ball is cut back to Aitana in the centre of the box, and her sidefooted effort looks destined for the bottom corner.

But our goalkeeper scrambles across her line and makes a phenomenal diving save to prevent the Barca breakthrough.


Roebuck to the rescue

Oshoala is sent clean through on goal, but our 'keeper makes herself big and blocks the Nigerian's low effort with her feet.

A big stop at a big time in the game - City will be hoping to build from there.


Booking for Greenwood

Alex Greenwood comes crashing into the back of a Barcelona forward when challenging for an aerial ball.

She'll have to be careful for the remainder of the game now...


Early chances

A ball into the space behind the defence releases Asisat Oshoala, but Abby Dahlkemper is across to screen the danger before she can pull the trigger.

A vicious drive from Graham Hansen is then blocked by a crowd of bodies inside the box.

Barca on top, but City holding their own in the opening 15 minutes 💪


Early exchanges

Caroline Graham Hansen gets on the ball for the first time and makes a mazy run into the box.

But the Norwegian is thwarted by Alex Greenwood, who blocks her path to goal.

Both sides starting to find their feet under the searing Monza sun!


Confident start

City enjoying the majority of the play to begin with, zipping the ball around the back with confidence.

As soon as Barca get on the ball though, we're pressing high up the pitch aggressively and with confidence.

A great opening so far!


Heating up 🙌

The players are out with City donning our paisley inspired away kit.

Gareth Taylor's side are pushing for a tenth consecutive victory in a row, but they're taking on a Barcelona side who have made the Champions League semi-finals in three of the last four seasons.

This is going to be a cracking tie!


How to tune in 📺

Remember, you can follow the match on CITY+* as well as on BT Sport.

Available across all digital platforms -, Man City app and Smart TV, CITY+ provides Cityzens with unrivalled access to new and exclusive City content.

It will also allow you to watch full-match replays of all men’s and women’s matches 24 hours after the final whistle if you miss the action entirely, or just want to relive it!

You can sign up to a 30-day free trial, after which CITY+ is just £1.99GBP / month.

*Excluding Israel, Australia and Mexico.


🗣 Abby Dahlkemper: We're eyeing the Champions League title

“I think we’re a special group and we’re in a good spot in the league. The group is ticking, we’re playing well and I think it’s all about momentum at this point.

“The girls have done an amazing job getting here. I know I jumped in part-way through but definitely that’s credit to the coaching staff and players for getting the job done.

“We’re eyeing becoming champions. It’s a process though, we’re focused on tomorrow and taking care of business. We’re setting all our focus on the game.

“Barcelona are a very good team with great attacking play.

"They like the ball, they’ve scored a bunch of goals so we’ll definitely have to be on our A game tomorrow and be organised and really take advantage of moments when we have the ball and be sharp defensively.


Champions League rules explained… kind of 😅

City welcome Barcelona back to the Academy Stadium in a week’s time for our return fixture, but the result in Monza will still have a huge say over which side makes the last four.

Our two-legged tie will be decided by an aggregate scoreline, with the team who’s scored the most goals across both matches progressing into the semis.

HOWEVER, if both teams grab the same amount of goals, then whoever scored the most as the away side will go through, so a positive result for City in Monza today could be huge.

If the aggregate score is tied after two legs, AND we’ve scored the same amount of away goals though, it’s onto extra time and penalties.

Avril Lavigne was right all those years ago - why do you have to go and make things so complicated?!


Unfamiliar foes ⚔

City are treading into the unknown today, with our Champions League quarter-final first leg clash with Barcelona representing the first competitive meeting between the two clubs.

However, City did come out on top in a pre-season friendly in August 2018, beating the Spanish champions 2-0 with goals from Melissa Lawley and Nikita Parris.

And there is also a further connection between the two clubs through former player, Toni Duggan.

After four fruitful years at City, including a WSL title and a Champions League semi-final, the England international made the switch from Manchester to Barcelona ahead of the 2017-2018 season.

Duggan spent two seasons with Barca before moving to fellow Spanish side Atletico Madrid in 2019!


🗣Abby Dahlkemper: Barcelona clash sums up why I signed

“I think (a game of this stature), that’s definitely part of the reason why I joined City.

“My experience so far has been amazing, and I’ve only been here two months but it feels like longer and that’s testament to the players surrounding me and the coaching staff, everyone who makes this team run.

“I am really looking forward to tomorrow and definitely excited to play in a Champions League game that’ll be a great game against a great side.

“Barcelona are a good side. Any team that makes it to the quarter-final of the Champions League is a good side.

"I’m looking forward to a really competitive match.”


🗣 Gareth Taylor: This has all the ingredients of a fascinating game

“They're strong in their league, scoring a lot of goals, and you could say the same about us.

“We've analysed a lot of their games, especially the cup competition they lost to Atletico Madrid. They struggled to impose their game in that one.

“Both of us are very possession-based teams. We’re not used to not having the ball and the same for them. We want to dominate as much as we can but understand Barcelona will have the same mentality.

“We need to take our chances, we need to defend resolutely. That’s the same thing I’d say in any encounter – the game’s dictated in both boxes.

“It'll be very interesting but this is what we're here for: to challenge ourselves and to come up against really good teams.

“It’s got all the ingredients of a fascinating game.”


One change

Gareth Taylor makes one change from our 3-0 victory over Bristol City seven days ago, with Lucy Bronze fit enough to rejoin the starting 11.

The game unfortunately comes too soon for captain Steph Houghton, who remains out with an achilles injury, but the quality and experience of Alex Greenwood and Abby Dahlkemper are certain to do the business at centre-half.

Ellie Roebuck starts between the sticks, shielded by a back four of Bronze, Dahlkemper, Greenwood and Esme Morgan.

Keira Walsh will sit in front, with Sam Mewis and Caroline Weir completing the midfield three.

And at the sharp end, Chloe Kelly and Lauren Hemp will provide width for Ellen White.


Form Guide 📋

City come into today's clash in scintillating form, with victory over Bristol City on Wednesday evening marking a tenth consecutive win in the Women’s Super League and ninth in all competitions.

In that time, we've scored 32 goals and conceded just two, with Arsenal the last side to breach our defence six matches ago at the beginning of February.

However, our opponents can boast a rich vein of form themselves, having won all 19 of their domestic league matches so far this season.

The Spanish champions are also yet to taste defeat on a European setting this campaign, having put Fortuna Hjorring to the sword 9-0 on aggregate in the previous round.

...What a tie we've got on our hands today!


How to tune in 📺

The match is available to watch live on CITY+*, while the action is also being screened by BT Sport.

Available across all digital platforms -, Man City app and Smart TV, CITY+ provides Cityzens with unrivalled access to new and exclusive City content.

It will allow you to watch full-match replays of all men’s and women’s matches 24 hours after the final whistle and original CityTV productions, such as the recently released Shaun Goater documentary: ‘Feed the Goat’.

You can sign up to a 30-day free trial, after which CITY+ is just £1.99GBP / month.

Find out more and sign up, here.

Following the final whistle, a comprehensive report on proceedings, plus reaction from manager Gareth Taylor and a player will also be available to read on and our official app.

*Excluding Israel, Australia and Mexico.


Ciao! 🇮🇹

Welcome back to some more exciting Champions League action!

City are pitting their wits against Barcelona in the first leg of our quarter-final clash as we aim to reach the last four for the first time since 2018.

The Spanish champions stand in our way, and their own imperious run of form means everything is pointing towards an enthralling two-legged clash.

We’ll have team news for you in the next 15 minutes or so, while kick-off is scheduled for 11:30am (UK time).

Although we're technically the away side for the first leg, the match will be taking place in the beautiful Italian city of Monza due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Gutted - I thought my Spanish GCSE was finally going to be put to good use!