Janine Beckie hit a hat-trick and Pauline Bremer netted her seventh goal in four games to hand the hosts a 4-0 victory in the second leg clash at the Academy Stadium, with Nick Cushing’s side having already stormed to a 7-1 triumph in the first leg in Switzerland.
Eager to build momentum and extend our impeccable start to the season, City produced another professional display to record our highest aggregate victory in the competition.
Semi-finalists in 2017 and 2018, City were disappointed to have been eliminated at this stage last season at the hands of Atletico Madrid, and seek to emulate their previous achievements this term.
Cushing had spoken beforehand of the importance of maintaining standards, ahead of Sunday’s top-of-the-table Super League trip to Everton.
On the back of Sunday’s 5-0 triumph against Leicester, the Cup double winners headed into the clash in excellent form, with a 100% record from four games, just one goal conceded and an astonishing 15 scored.
Number 16 would arrive after just five minutes of Wednesday’s European encounter, as Beckie, who found the net in Lugano, doubled her personal tally against the Swiss outfit, collecting Keira Walsh’s inch-perfect through-ball and chipping delightfully over Morgan Bertsch.
Eight almost became nine moments later as tricky youngster Jess Park almost bagged her third goal in City colours but skewed just wide.
With City in firm control, the home side focused on dominating possession, passing the ball around with ease. The opening half hour bore little in terms of goalmouth action until Beckie doubled her advantage on 33 minutes, sliding in to convert Walsh’s cross.
Captain Steph Houghton almost made it three on the night – only to see her bullet header well-saved just before the break, but City would not have to wait long for our tenth of the tie, as Beckie struck again four minutes after the restart.
Once again, the Canadian forward was alert in the box, muscling her way onto Demi Stokes’ cross and rifling past Bertsch to complete her hat-trick.
Megan Campbell, Park and Bremer almost added further gloss to the scoreline, firing just wide, but the German forward would continue her purple patch with just over ten minutes remaining, bursting onto Campbell's long ball before rounding the goalkeeper and slotting home to complete the rout.
Cushing’s side will discover our Round of 16 opponents Monday 30 September when the draw takes place in Nyon, Switzerland (time to be confirmed).
Cushing made five changes to the side that kicked-off our defence of the Continental Cup with a 5-0 triumph over Leicester at the weekend.
Roebuck took her place in goal, shielded by a back four of Stokes, Campbell, Houghton and Matilde Fidalgo. Walsh protected the backline, sitting behind Tyler Toland and Scott, while Wullaert and the tricky Park were occupied on the wings. Beckie led the line upfront.
A comfortable, professional and dominant display, which continues City’s excellent streak, ensuring City head into Sunday’s trip to Everton in superb form – offensively and defensively – and in high spirits.
The strong away leg advantage also allowed Cushing to rotate, handing valuable minutes to some players, whilst keeping regular starters at the top of their game.
Player of the Match: Janine Beckie
Only one winner… The hat-trick heroine.
With Bremer’s red-hot form, Beckie has found chances limited in the past few games but she gave manager Cushing food for thought with an excellent run and finish for her opener, before showcasing her predatory instincts with her second and third goals of the game.
Further evidence of our abundance of attacking armoury.
City return to domestic action with an FA Women’s Super League trip to Everton on Sunday 29 September (12:30pm) before the league breaks for international duty.
Cushing’s side will be back on home soil with the WSL visit of Birmingham on Saturday 12 October (2pm BST).
Tickets for all home women’s games are available online or at the Ticket Office.