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Nikita Parris' third goal in three games, Jill Scott’s third of the season and Mel Lawley's first of the campaign handed the Blues a comfortable second leg triumph to secure progression, with Nick Cushing’s side having claimed a 3-0 win in Austria last Wednesday.
Despite their commanding advantage, Cushing named a strong side at the Academy Stadium, eager to head into the international break with a 100% record from their opening five games.
City reached the semi-finals of the competition in their first season, clinching a 6-0 aggregate triumph over 2016/17 Round of 32 opponents Zvezda Perm. That feat would be matched - in style.
In red-hot form and brimming with confidence, the Blues almost broke the deadlock within the first minute, as Steph Houghton sought her fourth goal in as many games but – stretching – sliced over the bar.
Jane Ross spurned the chance to open the scoring – and net her first European goal – from the spot. Having been upended by goalkeeper Jasmin Boisits, the Scot stepped up to take the penalty but saw her low effort saved.
Parris then almost broke the deadlock, delightfully nutmegging her defender before curling just wide.
As the hosts shifted a gear in an attempt to turn the screw, they found Boisits in fine form. The goalkeeper denied Scott, Izzy Christiansen and Jen Beattie in quick succession before Parris made it 1-0 on the night, collecting Abi McManus’ cross and poking into the roof of the net.
Georgia Stanway almost doubled the lead with a long-range effort which whistled just wide, before Scott netted the second with a glorious finish, winning a header in the final third, receiving Christiansen’s lay-off and curling over the goalkeeper and into the bottom corner.
Parris and Houghton were unfortunate to see headers sail off-target, while the skipper also unleashed a trademark free-kick which (unusually in recent form) flew over the crossbar.
Substitute Lawley sealed the victory, controlling in the area before smashing in off the post, to send the Blues through in style.
How they lined up…
Youngster Ellie Roebuck made her second European appearance in goal, shielded by a backline of Demi Stokes, Beattie, Houghton and McManus.
Keira Walsh protected the back four in her defensive midfield role, behind Scott and Christiansen. Parris and Stanway operated on the wings, while Ross led the line upfront.
The season breaks for international games but City will discover their Round of 16 fate on Monday at 13:30pm CET.
The Blues’ next league game welcomes Birmingham to the Academy Stadium (29 October at 12:30pm). Tickets are available at tickets.mancity.com.
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