Women's Team

Taylor hails manner of 'commanding' victory over Tomiris

Gareth Taylor praised the ‘commanding' nature of City’s 6-0 UEFA Women’s Champions League victory over Tomiris-Turan and said his players were now eagerly looking forward to Sunday’s round three qualifier against Real Madrid.

In our first official match of the 2022/23 season, City produced a hugely impressive display in Madrid against the side from Kazakhstan.

A Bunny Shaw brace along with a Lauren Hemp strike sent a City side featuring several debutants in 3-0 to the good at the break.

And three further goals arrived in the final 15 minutes from subs Vicky Losada, Deyna Castellanos and a Tomiris own goal.

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City’s prize is a one-off clash with Real Madrid on Sunday evening, with the victors of that match then going through to a final two-legged round of qualifying.

“I think it was a pretty commanding performance,” the manager declared.

“We dominated the early stages. We showed some good moments and other things to improve on slightly and we were a bit inconsistent in our final third and in our final actions but overall in the second half we opened up well.

TWO GOOD: Bunny Shaw celebrates her second goal
TWO GOOD: Bunny Shaw celebrates her second goal

“When you make changes like we both did it can be disjointed but when we had a settled 11 we then scored three goals in the last quarter of the game.

“So I was pleased with the players, especially where we've had to adapt in pre-season like many other clubs have had to.”

The meeting with Real throws up a repeat of last season when the two sides met in a two-legged qualifier with the Spanish side edging City out.

Spanish sides have enjoyed the upper hand on City in recent years with Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Real all ending our European hopes.

However, the boss said that this year’s affair was an occasion City were already relishing.

“It's a tough one as someone, one of two very good teams, is going out,” Taylor added. “It’s a good challenge on their patch as well. We’ll be ready, we'll recover and get ready for Sunday.

“Sometimes the stats throw up that we have struggled against Spanish sides in the past.

FORWARD MARCH: Laura Coombs powers through
FORWARD MARCH: Laura Coombs powers through

“At the end of the day, over 90 minutes its two teams going at it. To draw them last season in round two was unique and to do it again in round three is incredible really.

“It's an exciting game, a real good game to be involved in and the players are really looking forward to it.”

Another huge positive for City was the return to action for the first time since January of skipper Steph Houghton who came on in the second half with long-term injury victim Esme Morgan also close to a return.

“We had Steph kind of sporadically last season. We lost her then she was back, and we lost her again from January,” Taylor added.

“It's about making sure we build Steph back up in the right manner. Esme wasn't quite ready, and we didn't want to take a risk but having those two back gives us great options.”

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