Manchester City suffered a 2-0 home defeat to Atlético Madrid to bow out of the UEFA Women’s Champions League Round of 32 by an aggregate score of 3-1, while Chelsea eased past Sarajevo.
City undone by da Silva
Atlético Madrid made a strong start which was rewarded with Silvia Mesegeur scoring just 4 minutes in, Ludmilla da Silva doing the damage with a lightning burst into the box and a cross which Steph Houghton failed to clear.
Georgia Stanway had a thunderous drive from distance which Dolores Gallardo impressively pushed over but Ludmila Da Silva got the visitors’ second on half time, leaving Nick Cushing’s side needing three goals to save the tie.
Karen Bardsley tipped away a Jennifer Hermoso strike before Stanway was again denied at the other end, while Nikita Parris and Caroline Weir both struck the crossbar from distance and even when City thought they had pulled one back at the end of the 90, it was ruled out for offside. It was one of those nights for the home side.
Manager Nick Cushing was disappointed but pragmatic in his post match reaction:
“We didn’t start the game quick enough. I thought we looked a bit tentative. We didn’t really show any conviction in that first part of the game. Giving a goal away so early and not really getting into our rhythm in the first half sort of gave the impetus to the opposition and in Champions League football you cannot do that.
“They’re [the players] an honest group and they know that they’ve come up short by their own standards but they’ve played a good team. It’s very disappointing and yeah we’re hurting at the moment because Champions League is where we’ve been playing well but that’s football. We lost against a team that was better than us for 135 minutes.
“I’m hugely impressed by Lauren Hemp and Georgia Stanway, two young English players that are taking the game to Atlético Madrid and showing that they are fearless and that they want to work hard to play at the highest level. Lauren and Georgia, for me, were our best two players tonight.”
“No-one can put us under more pressure than we put on ourselves. We’ve just gone out of the Champions League in our third season and it’s only the third game that we’ve lost, so we know we’re a good team. We’ll accept it but we won’t panic.
“We’ll look at the game and we’ll look to see where we get back into our rhythm and where we impose ourselves back in games. I thought the second half was much better and we started to control the game and be offensive a lot more, so the positive is we finished the game strong and we have to take that into Birmingham on Sunday.”
Chelsea sink Sarajevo six nil
Chelsea quickly added to their five-goal lead over Sarajevo, Drew Spence with a 4th-minute effort from a Fran Kirby pass.
A Maria Thorisdottir through ball saw Kirby finish just after the half-hour and a Maren Mjelde free kick went in off the bar 5 minutes into the second half.
Kirby made it 4-0 on the night after 77 minutes and Hannah Blundell added her name to the scoresheet when following up a Erin Cuthbert effort.
Kirby missed the chance of a hat-trick when her last-minute penalty was saved but Cuthbert was on hand to net the rebound as the Blues won their home tie 6-0 for an 11-0 aggregate.
Highlights elsewhere included Barcelona overturning a 3-1 deficit
Barcelona turned round their 3-1 first leg loss against BIIK-Kazygurt to win 4-3 overall, Lieke Martens sealing their progress in the last minute.
Wolfsburg added two goals to their 1-0 win at Thór/KA, Pernille Harder and Ella McLeod on target.
Rosengård had a similar result against Ryazan-VDV, Fiona Brown and Ebba Wieder finding the net.
Nicoline Sorensen got the only goal as Brøndby edged Juventus on the day and 3-2 over two legs.
Sparta Praha halved Ajax’s advantage from last week but a quickfire Vanity Lewerissa brace sent the Dutch side through.
Fiorentina repeated their 2-0 win over Fortuna Hjorring, Lana Clelland with a first-half brace.
Two goals in the first dozen minutes and two more late on saw Linköping defeat Kharkiv 4-0 on the night and 10-1 on aggregate.
Bayern Munich added four goals to the seven they scored at Spartak Subotica for an 11-0 tally.
Fixtures for Thursday 27 September
Zvezda 2005 (0-3) LSK
Slavia Praha (3-0) Gintra
Lyon (2-0) Avaldsnes
Paris Saint-Germain (4-1) St.Pölten
FC Zürich (1-0) Honka
Glasgow City (2-0) Somatio Barcelona