Friendly Academy Stadium Att:1279 Sunday, August 12, 2018 12:01:00 AM
- Alex Kirkley
- Houghton (C)
- Scott Walsh 46’
- Nadim Emslie 46’
- Unused subs
- Stenson, Park, Bradley.
- Tajonar Panos 46’
- Pereira Van der Gragt 56’
- Losada (c)
- Hamraoui Latorre 32’
- Martens Alves 56’
- Unused subs
- Fernandez, Esteve, Gutierre, Armengol, Font.
Find out how City fared in their recent friendly against Barcelona...
Nick Cushing handed Tessa Wullaert, Caroline Weir and Gemma Bonner their home debuts after all three impressed during the tour of Portland and Miami. Karen Bardsley remained in goal behind a back four of Bonner, skipper Steph Houghton, Jen Beattie and Abbie McManus. Jill Scott made up a midfield three alongside Weir and Wullaert, while Lawley and Parris flanked Nadia Nadim up front.
Wing play seemed the most effective tactic for both sides in a first half of few chances. Mel Lawley’s trickery and delivery giving City the edge. Her 17th minute cross caused confusion amongst Barcelona’s back line, before goalkeeper Tajonar eventually gathered the ball, denying Parris an effort on goal.
Minutes later, Lawley’s quick feet won a free kick for City, which Weir whipped in left-footed across the face of goal but again the chance went begging.
Arguably, the best chance of the first 45 came from the visitors left side, as Martens’ low cross found Caldentey who’s powerful strike skidded just wide of Bardsley’s post.
Both sides finished second in their respected leagues last season, and the two teams were evenly matched.
Nick Cushing brought on Claire Emslie and Kiera Walsh for Nadim and Scott, whilst Barcelona’s Tajonar made way for Sandra Panos at the break. Panos’ first call to action was to race to the feet of Parris. The City attacker went down in the box, only to be booked for simulation.
With fifteen minutes left to play, Lawley ran onto Walsh’s through ball, outpacing Serrano and coolly slotting past Panos to find the bottom corner of Barcelona’s net, putting City 1-0 up.
City had to withstand some solid Barcelona pressure in the last ten minutes, with Bardsley making routine saves from Andressa Alves and ex-City player Toni Duggan.
Nick Cushing’s side continued to look dangerous on the counter attack and were awarded a penalty in the 88th minute. A mirror image of the earlier collision between Parris and Panos, the difference being this time the referee pointed to the spot.
Parris stepped up to take the penalty herself, firing past Panos and ensuring a victory for the home side, a brilliant way to set City up for the competitive season.
Two Continental Cup fixtures follow for City, starting with a trip to Birmingham on Sunday 19th August, before returning to the Academy Stadium to face Leicester a week later.
Manchester City women’s team Seasoncards are now on General Sale. Includes all home games in all competitions. Priced from £60 for Adults and just £32 for U16s! More info HERE.