Match Report

Slick City cruise to victory in Champions League opener

Slick City cruise to victory in Champions League opener
UEFA Women's Champions League Qualifying
UEFA Women's Champions League Qualifying
Thu 18 Aug
6
0
Khadija Shaw 
(4', 21'),  

Lauren Hemp 
(46'),  

Vicky Losada 
(82'),  

Deyna Castellanos 
(89'),  

Aytaj Sharifova (1) 
(92')

View highlights
Manchester City got our 2022/23 campaign off to a winning start with a convincing 6-0 victory over WFC Tomiris-Turan in UEFA Women’s Champions League qualifying.

An early brace from Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw set the tone for a dominant display from Gareth Taylor’s side in our Round One semi-final.

The Jamaican twice found the net inside the opening 20 minutes to hand City a commanding position in Madrid, with Lauren Hemp adding a third on the stroke of half-time.

And our continued pressure would eventually tell once again late in the second half when Vicky Losada added a fourth from the bench, before Deyna Castellanos marked her competitive debut with a goal from the spot.

Number six would follow in stoppage time when Laura Coombs' low ball into the box was put into the net by Tomiris-Turan stopper Aytaj Sharifova.

City will now face Real Madrid on Sunday, with the victors progressing to a two-legged final round of qualifying for this season’s tournament.

What happened

Taylor’s side had looked sharp during each of our pre-season victories, and those early signs translated into a dream start in Madrid.

It came thanks to a clinical header from Bunny, who stole a yard on her marker to glance home Hemp’s inviting cross from the left.

The duo combined once again in a dominant opening, but this time the Jamaican was denied by Sharifova.

But our No. 21 didn’t have to wait long to double her account for the evening, once again finding the net with her head after meeting Chloe Kelly’s teasing ball towards the penalty spot.

Taylor’s side continued to control proceedings in Madrid but had to wait until the stroke of half-time to add to our tally.

And it was our front three that once again made the difference, with Hemp firing back across goal after some neat build-up play from Kelly and Shaw.

It was a similar story after the break, with City continuing to turn the screw.

Keira Walsh went close to adding a fourth when her effort from the edge of the box flashed just wide of the far post before the hour after debutant Mary Fowler couldn’t quite sort her feet out in time to pull the trigger inside the area.

Hemp will feel she should've increased her personal tally for the evening ten minutes later when she met Kelly's low cross at the far post, only to fire against the side netting from point blank range.

It was substitute Hayley Raso’s turn to go close as the clock ticked over the 75-minute mark when she had seemingly capitalised on a defensive error, but Aigerim Aitymova was on hand to clear the danger off the line.

And our opponents were indebted to their goalkeeper Sharifova soon after when she made a fine point blank save from Deyna Castellanos after the substitute pounced on a loose ball.

But there was nothing Tomiris-Turan's stopper could do to prevent Vicky Losada from slotting home a deserved fourth as stoppage time approached, the Spaniard making no mistake after being afforded too much space inside the box.

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The lively Castellanos continued her pursuit of a debut goal, stinging the palms of Sharifova, but the Venezuelan would get the goal her cameo deserved in the 89th minute.

The former Atletico Madrid forward was brought down inside the area after pressing a loose ball in the Tomiris-Turan box, and she made no mistake from the spot to conjure a rapturous reception from those in attendance.

But the final act of a professional display would fall to Coombs, whose stoppage time cross in at the near-post was inadvertently put into the net by Sharifova.

Player of the Match: Bunny Shaw

The centre-forward was a constant threat for City, combining a robust physical presence with clever movement and clinical finishing.

In just 30 competitive appearances, Bunny has already grabbed 21 goals for Gareth Taylor’s side.

With performances like tonight, that impressive strike rate is sure to continue in the same vein.

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How we lined up

Ellie Roebuck’s goal was shielded by a back four of Kerstin Casparij, Laia Aleixandri, Alex Greenwood and Leila Ouahabi.

Walsh sat in front of the defence, with Coombs and Fowler completing the midfield three.

At the sharp end, Shaw started through the middle, with Hemp and Kelly providing width on the flanks.

CITY XI: Roebuck, Casparij, Aleixandri, Greenwood (Houghton 61'), Ouahabi (Stokes 61'), Walsh, Coombs, Fowler, Kelly (Raso 73'), Shaw (Castellanos 67'), Hemp (Losada 73').

Subs: MacIver, Keating, Angeldahl, Morgan, Kennedy, Blakstad

WFC TOMIRIS-TURAN XI: Sharifova, Kozhakhmet (Yerzhanova 62’), Popovic, Sunday Abigail, Nurusheva, Sunday Juliet, Esquivel, Aitymova, Turlybekova (Nizamutdinova 62’), Chilufya, Kubessova (Mamyrova 83')

Subs: Abibulla Kyzy, Karatayeva, Kopzhanova, Berikova

What it means

Victory means City have now reached the Champions League Group Four Round One final.

Should we get the better of our opponents in that match, then a further triumph over two legs in a Round Two play-off will secure our place in this season’s group stages.

Up next

Gareth Taylor’s side face Real Madrid on Sunday 21 August after Las Blancas beat Sturm Graz 6-0.

Kick-off at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano is scheduled for 20:00 (UK), with the match available to watch live on CITY+ and our official Recast channel.

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