Women's Team

Dahlkemper: Barca clash sums up why I joined City

Dahlkemper: Barca clash sums up why I joined City
Abby Dahlkemper says the prospect of tackling Barcelona in Wednesday’s UEFA Women’s Champions League quarter-final first leg was one of the reasons that made her want to to join City.

The American World Cup winner has made a big impact with Gareth Taylor’s squad in the two months since she joined us from North Carolina Courage.

And the centre-back is set to be a key figure again on Wednesday when City seek to tackle a formidable Barca side who have amassed a remarkable 99 goals so far this term.

With skipper Steph Houghton ruled out by an Achilles injury, Dahlkemper’s experience and composure will be even more crucial.

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But looking ahead to the prospect, she said taking part in such a high profile, high stakes game was one of the compelling factors behind her decision to join the Club.

“Yeah I think ( a game of this stature) that’s definitely part of the reason why I joined City,” Dahlkemper declared.

“My experience so far has been amazing, and I’ve only been here two months but it feels like longer and that’s testament to the players surrounding me and the coaching staff, everyone who makes this team run.

WATCH: Watch Barcelona v City live on CITY+

“I am really looking forward to tomorrow and definitely excited to play in a Champions League game that’ll be a great game against a great side.

“Barcelona are a good side. Any team that makes it to the quarter final of the Champions League is a good side. I’m looking forward to a really competitive match tomorrow.”

While Barcelona have been in superb form this season, both domestically winning all 19 league games and impressing in Europe, City also go into the match on the back of our own magnificent run of form.

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Gareth Taylor’s squad have won 15 of our last 16 matches and Dahlkemper said the key was to harness and build on that winning momentum.

“I think we’re a special group and we’re in a good spot in the league. The group is ticking, we’re playing well and I think it’s all about momentum at this point,” the American asserted.

“The girls have done an amazing job getting here. I know I jumped in part-way through but definitely that’s credit to the coaching staff and players for getting the job done.

WATCH: City's UEFA Women's Champions League quiz challenge!

“We’re eyeing becoming champions. It’s a process though, we’re focused on tomorrow and taking care of business. We’re setting all our focus on the game tomorrow.”

Though the absence of Houghton is a blow, the depth and quality of City’s squad means whoever is deployed in the skipper's central defensive role will more than help fill the void.

And, for her part, Dahlkemper said she was relishing the responsibility of seeking to negate such a potent Barcelona attack.

“Steph obviously is such a quality player and brings so much to the side, on and off the field. She’s such a top-class centre-back,” the 27-year-old added.

“But I just need to focus on the things I can do well and to help the team.

“We’re missing her but I’m just going to try and do my best to help lead the defence.

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“The centre-back position you have to lead, talk, communicate and dictate everyone around you. I think it’s important to focus on my game and try to do whatever it takes to make the team win.

“Barcelona are a very good team with great attacking play.

"They like the ball, they’ve scored a bunch of goals so we’ll definitely have to be on our A game tomorrow and be organised and really take advantage of moments when we have the ball and be sharp defensively.

“They’re a great team but I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

City’s Women’s Champions League quarter-final first leg away to Barcelona will be streamed live on CITY+ and you can watch all the action from 11.30am (UK time).

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