Women's Team

Laura Coombs: City better prepared for Madrid second leg

Laura Coombs: City better prepared for Madrid second leg
Laura Coombs says Manchester City will be better prepared for Real Madrid when the two teams lock horns in the second leg of our Women’s Champions League second round tie.

Gareth Taylor’s side welcome the Spanish outfit to the Academy Stadium on Wednesday evening having been denied victory in the first leg after Konte Robles’ stoppage time strike rescued a 1-1 draw for Las Blancas.

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After a pre-season disrupted by 11 players' involvement in the Olympics and with several senior stars out injured, Madrid posed a tough test for City, who fielded three debutants in what was our first game of the new campaign.

But, having had an extra week of training and bolstered by the return of Georgia Stanway and Ellen White in the brilliant 4-0 win at Everton, Coombs feels City are in a stronger position ahead of the return leg.

"Going into tomorrow we are in a much better place than we were this time last week," she said at her pre-match press conference.

"We have had a lot more time together now, probably more time in the last week than we had previously.

"We know what they are going to bring, the pressure they bring. I just think we are better prepared for it this week.

"We were all pretty disappointed last week, especially after conceding so late on, but I think on reflection, when we considered the lack of pre-season and the lack of time with the new signings, it wasn’t the worst result in the world.

WATCH: Coombs confident she can improve working with Taylor

"Last week they really brought the game to us at times and I fully expect them to do the same tomorrow because it’s the Champions League and they really have to go for it to progress.

"We are expecting a really tough test. Obviously we are feeling good after Saturday, but I still think we will have to be at the top of our game tomorrow."

Victory would see City progress to the inaugural group stage of the Women’s Champions League, which is a new addition for this season’s competition.

We have not been beyond the quarter-finals in the previous three campaigns, losing in the last eight to eventual champions Barcelona in 2020-21.

Coombs says City are determined to make a significant improvement on our recent efforts and believes our squad depth will stand us in good stead as we bid reach the latter stages of the competition.

"I think we’ve got such a good squad," she added.

"We have had Gareth for over a year now. We know the way he wants to play and his ethos. It is down to us to take it to the competition.

"I think last year against Barcelona I think we gave them too much respect. It’s down to us to learn from that and go further this year."

Don’t miss the chance to witness our first home game of the new season in Wednesday’s home opener against Real Madrid. 

Tickets for the game are now on sale, while the clash is also available to watch live on CITY+.

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