Women's Team

Taylor: 'We can still turn this around'

Gareth Taylor insisted he retained belief that City can still reach the semi-finals of the UEFA Women’s Champions League despite a hugely frustrating 3-0 quarter-final first leg loss away to Barcelona.

On what was a tough afternoon in a game played in Monza, Italy due to COVID-19 restrictions, Taylor’s charges were made to pay for a number of missed opportunities with the Spanish side proving clinical in front of goal.

Asisat Oshoala and Jennifer Hermoso, plus a Mariona Caldentey penalty put the Catalan side firmly in the driving seat as City suffered our first loss in 17 games.

To add to the frustration, Chloe Kelly also saw a second half penalty saved when the score was still 2-0.

It all leaves City facing the toughest of tasks when Barca visit the Academy Stadium for next Wednesday’s decider.

However, as he reflected on the result the City boss sounded a note of defiance and insisted it was still only half-time in the tie.

“I don’t think it is a tough task (to score three goals),” Taylor declared.

ACTION STATIONS: Sam Mewis takes the fight to Barcelona
ACTION STATIONS: Sam Mewis takes the fight to Barcelona

"I think we can turn this round. I think it’s within our capabilities, the way this team has played, the goals we’ve scored, I believe we can do it.

“There is no doubt they edged it on chances created, but we certainly had a number of good opportunities and chances.

“We have normally been sticking them away and it could have changed the complexion of the result.

“But I have just spoken to the girls and said we are still capable of scoring that amount of goals to go through and that’s what we’ll work on building up to next week’s game.”

Reflecting on the game, the City boss also rued the lack of what would have been a crucial away goal.

But he said that the main lesson was that the squad needed to be both more clinical in attack and hard to break down in defence.

DRIVING ON: Lucy Bronze steps up the intensity
DRIVING ON: Lucy Bronze steps up the intensity

“I think scoring at any time would have changed the complexion because of the away goals,” Taylor reflected.

“Chloe has done great for us this season; she has scored goals and penalties and will score penalties in the future and I’m not just looking at that penalty miss.

“I want to make sure we don't give away as many opportunities as we did today. We need to be better in both boxes.

“Going down 2-0 and missing the penalty and chances, it is one to look at next week.

“I am confident we can do it, but we have made it tough for ourselves, no doubt about that.”