Man City Women made history for the third time in a fortnight, clinching victory in their first ever Champions League game.
A Jennifer Beattie brace, plus Lucy Bronze and Izzy Christiansen strikes, clinched a 4-0 victory in Russia, to mark an historic and memorable night in the Blues’ first European away trip – and the result did not flatter Nick Cushing’s side, who dominated both ties.
City had already gained a two-goal advantage over the 2009 finalists from the first leg, thanks to goals from Jill Scott and Bronze in Manchester, handing the English champions a comfortable cushion to take east.
The advantage gave the Blues a psychological boost for the trip to Zvezda Stadium, and they produced a stunning display to down the Russians.
Manager Cushing named an unchanged side from Thursday night’s encounter, while Perm made one change as Olesya Kurochkina replaced Yulia Kornievets.
With the hosts needing to score at least twice, they came flying out of the blocks and there was an early scare for City. Anastasia Pozdeeva turned well in the box and forced Karen Bardsley into a fine save.It was an important stop from the England ‘keeper, who has conceded just three league goals all season, to prevent Perm from finding a route back into the tie.
The visitors’ first real chance fell to Christiansen. The midfielder fired a low shot first-time towards the bottom corner on 16 minutes but Iryna Zvarich saved well.
The Blues broke the deadlock on 22 minutes, bagging the all-important away goal, with Beattie superbly volleying home Kosovare Asllani’s corner.
Set-pieces have become one of the Blues’ major threats in their double-winning campaign – this match provided further evidence.
Jane Ross then struck the post, having beaten her marker, as City grew in confidence having eased any nerves.
City doubled the lead with another corner just after the half-hour mark. The influential Asllani’s dangerous delivery was only parried by Zvarich – to the feet of Bronze, who swept home her second goal in a week against the Russian outfit.Cushing’s side continued where they left off after the break and Beattie netted her second with a header, after Asllani had produced a fine piece of skill to find space for the cross out wide.
In a rare attack, Daryna Apanaschenko struck the woodwork for Perm but it was the closest the home side came to reducing the deficit.
The Blues scored again to put the icing on the cake on 74 minutes, when Bronze squared for Christiansen to tap home from close range.
City sailed into the next round with an impressive win – and another clean sheet.
The draw for the Round of 16 will take place on Monday. Keep your eyes peeled to ManCity.com and @ManCityWomen Twitter to discover the Blues’ fate.
City’s next home game is the Super League finale on 30 October. The league and Continental Tyres Cup trophies will be on display. Visit the ticket office or tickets.mancity.com to secure your seat…