Manchester City Women crashed out of the Champions League, losing to Real Madrid 1-0 on the night and 2-1 on aggregate. A goal by Claudia Zornoza on the stroke of half-time gave Real the win they needed to progress to the group stages at City’s expense.
It seemed like City had done the hard work in the first leg in Madrid, when Caroline Weir’s goal had given City the lead and, despite conceding a late equaliser, hopes were high that home advantage would give City the edge over their Spanish counterparts.
City had been the better side in the first half, but the warning signs that Real could nick a goal went unheeded. The visitors had a goal disallowed - perhaps harshly - for offside in the first half and City didn’t learn their lesson.
Real won a corner after Taieb was forced to tip over a powerful shot from Robles, the goalscorer in last week’s tie. The blues slack defending led to the chance but the City keeper was equal to it.
But, from the resulting corner, City again failed to clear their lines and Zornoza’s left foot strike went on off a deflection, leaving the blues with it all to do in the second half.
City had a glorious chance to level in the second half when the Real keeper made a hash of a clearance and Ellen White intercepted, and squared to Weir, but the Scot just couldn’t reach it in time otherwise it would have been a tap-in.
Moments later, Hayley Raso danced her way through the Madrid defence, but couldn’t find the finish as her shot cannoned off the bar, agonisingly for City. The blues continued to push and White had a goal-bound header cleared off the line.
Sadly for the blues, it seemed like they could have played all night and still not score, and as the final whistle went, the blue girls fell to their knees as Madrid celebrated reaching the group stage at City’s expense.
The bleus must now pick themselves up and prepare for Sunday’s visit from Tottenham Hotspur, as they focus their attention to domestic success this season.
Final score: Manchester City Women 0-1 Real Madrid Women (Real win 2-1 on aggregate).