Manchester City have a huge chance to resurrect their Champions League hopes on Wednesday in the second leg of their quarter-final tie vs Barcelona. It will be a tall ask for the Women's Super League outfit, who are already trailing by a hefty 3-0 deficit.
It was an afternoon to forget for Gareth Taylor and his side, who struggled to leave any sort of mark on the reverse fixture in Monza. Despite Ellie Roebuck's heroics in the net, the Catalonians were too switched on to be kept at bay. A first half wonder strike from Asisat Oshoala broke the deadlock, followed by a penalty and a goal mouth scramble to add another two goals to their tally.
Barca will be feeling confident heading into the clash in Manchester – it will take a Man City masterclass to put the pressure on the Primera Iberdrola leaders.
Barcelona are yet to drop a single point in the Spanish league this season. They boast maximum points so far and have netted an astonishing 103 goals in 21 games played.
A big ask for City
The Mancunians need to be firing on all cylinders from the first whistle if they want to catch Barcelona off guard. Taylor will be relying on the likes of Chloe Kelly and Lauren Hemp, who have been lighting up the WSL with their creative link up play.
They have a combined 12 goals and 16 assists in England's top flight so far and teammate Ellen White also has nine goals and four assists to her name, via BBC Sport. All eyes will be on Hemp, who was one of City's only positive takeaways from the first leg.
The forward caused all sorts of problems for the Barca defence. Although there was no end product to her build up play, her pace proved difficult for Lluís Cortés' backline to handle. Her most recent WSL outing saw her dance through the Reading defence, before slicing an unstoppable ball towards Kelly who tapped in from close distance to claim the win.
Speaking ahead of the all-or-nothing match, midfielder Sam Mewis said that the team are "so hungry" to achieve a comeback against Barcelona. The USA international went on to describe morale in camp as "really optimistic" and admitted both she and the squad are "really fired up" as they prepare to put in a hard shift on the European stage.
"They [Barcelona] were obviously a great team," Mewis said of the opposition. "I think their movement off the ball was top notch, some of the best I've played against. It reminded me a lot of the national team, playing against Spain."
Indeed, Barcelona pose a huge threat in both midfield and attack and City certainly have their work cut out. To achieve a way back into this fight, they will not only need to score goals of their own, but stop Cortés' lethal creativity from adding more to the deficit.News Now - Sport News