St. Pölten v Manchester City, UWCL Round of 32

UWCL Round of 32 Round-Up

GOTB Featured Game

St. Pölten v Manchester City

We travelled to Austria on Wednesday to see Manchester City take on St. Pölten in the Champions League. City were the favourites to bring home the victory and made no mistake with the game ending 3-0 in their favour. Demi Stokes opened the scoring before Steph Houghton and Nikita Parris followed up.

Opinion:

City came to the NV Arena full of confidence off the back of two strong league wins. Nick Cushing made two changes to the side that had dispatched Arsenal at the weekend. Megan Campbell and Georgie Stanway came in in place of Jane Ross and Clare Emslie.

It was the home side, however, who started off looking the most threatening. Mateja Zver was a continuous thorn in the City defence as the visitors became wasteful in possession.

Nikita Parris, St. Pölten v Manchester City, UWCL Round of 32The question, however, always is how long can teams keep up this resilience against a stronger opponent. Demi Stokes’ breakthrough strike that pinged of the bar, onto the post and finally into the back of the net opened the flood gates for the next ten minutes as City went through the gears. A trademark Steph Houghton fee kick and fine header from Nikita Parris killed the scoreline off.

However, St. Pölten could never be accused of wilting and continued trying to press forward and play their football in the second half. They deserved a goal for their efforts but were just missing the luck to hit the back of the net. In a ten-minute period, they hit the bar, had a shot blocked off the line and another just tipped over the bar by Roebuck.

In the end though, it was comfortable for the English side. Their one worry will have been a first half injury to Jill Scott who sustained an ankle knock. With not much midfield back-up they will need her back fit and well for some sterner tests ahead.

Player of the Match:

Our player of the match goes to Demi Stokes. With Campbell taking up her Stokes’ usual left back position, she found herself higher up the pitch. Her marauding runs forward influenced the game all night, causing trouble for St. Pölten’s right side.

Demi Stokes, St. Pölten v Manchester City, UWCL Round of 32

One such run produced the opening goal while another finished with a pinpoint cross for Parris to head home. Not bad return for a night’s work!

Stop of the Match:

Following a strong spell of attacking football from St. Pölten in the second half, the hosts won several corners as they looked to pull a goal back. It required resilient defensive work from City as Houghton blocked a shot off the line.

In the follow up, Ellie Roebuck, made a great stop when she tipped a goal-bound effort from Fanni Vago over the bar. It was a vital moment and just one part of a strong all-round performance from the young England goalkeeper.

Goal of the Match:

Our favourite goal of the game was the opener from Demi Stokes. Set up by an assist on the stretch by Izzy Christiansen, Stokes found the pace to break through the St. Pölten defence and send a powerful strike towards goal. It may have taken a while to hit the back of the net – hitting the bar and the post beforehand – but there was no doubting its final destination.

Other British Teams

Chelsea 1-0 Bayern Munich

Chelsea showed plenty of character to narrowly overcome Munich and go into the second leg with a slight advantage. Drew Spence carried on her brilliant run of form with the only goal of the game following a sweeping move from the Blues up the pitch.


They will be faced with a stern challenge when they travel to Germany next week but after this result will be brimming with confidence that they can make it through to the next round.

BIIK-Kazygurt 3-0 Glasgow City

There was disappointment for Glasgow after making the long trip to Kazakhstan as three second half goals gave the hosts a strong advantage. Begaim Kirgizbaeva gave Kazygurt the lead in the 48th minute before Kaelyn Korte and Gulnara Gabelia scored within four minutes of each other to round of the scoring. All is not lost yet for the Scottish side, however. Their history in this competition shows how much they love a comeback and they will surely be confident of being able to achieve another one on home soil.

Brits Abroad

Lucy Bronze made her Lyon UWCL debut as the reigning champions earned a strong 5-0 win away to Polish side, Medyk Konin. Norwegian striker Ada Hegerberg scored a hat-trick while French stars Wendie Renard and Eugenie Le Sommer both got on the scoresheet. Bronze was substituted in the 75th minute.

Toni Duggan scored for Barcelona as they travelled to Norway to earn a 4-0 win over Avaldsnes. Lieke Martens opened the scoring in the first half before Duggan doubled the score with 20 minutes to play. Andressa Alves and Mariona also got on the scoresheet.

Ellie Brazil was a substitute as Fiorentina earned a narrow 2-1 first leg win at home to Fortuna Hjorring. Valery Vigilucci gave the Italian side the lead in the first half before Ilaria Mauro made it 2-0 with half an hour left to play. Fortuna pulled a goal back in the 73rd minute through Signe Bruun.

Rosella Ayane played the full 90 minutes as her side Apollon Limassol fell to a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Swedish side, Linköping. Kristine Minde scored the only goal of the game in the second half.