Manchester City face a huge task to qualify for the last four of the Women's Champions League after suffering a 3-0 quarter-final first leg defeat to Barcelona in Monza.
A first half strike from Asisat Oshoala, followed by an early second half penalty from Mariona Caldentey and a late goal by Jennifer Hermosa earned the Spanish side victory against a below par City, who also missed a penalty through Chloe Kelly.
Barca became just the second club this season to beat the Women's Super League side, who have previously been beaten only by Chelsea, and were made to pay for sloppy finishing in Italy, which was hosting the match due to coronavirus travel restrictions between Spain and the UK.
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City were outplayed in the first half and had to rely on England goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck to keep them in the game, saving well from Oshoala, Alexia Putellas and Aitana Bonmati, before the Nigerian striker broke the deadlock with a shot from outside the box which nipped the post on the way into the net, leaving Roebuck rooted.
Gareth Taylor’s side had opportunities of their own before falling behind, as Chloe Kelly missed a great chance with a header from seven yards which she put over the bar, while Ellen White shot across goal and wide when well placed inside the box.
The situation got worse for City after the break when seven minutes after coming on as a half-time substitute, Demi Stokes’ wild swing of a leg at Oshoala gave Mariona Caldentey an opportunity to convert a penalty to double Barca’s lead.
Moments later, City missed a huge opportunity to reduce the deficit after Lauren Hemp was tripped by Maria Leon inside the box, but Kelly’s penalty was well parried away by goalkeeper Sandra Panos.
Normally so clinical in front of goal, White missed another good chance for the WSL side when she was unable to convert a low cross from Kelly.
With four minutes of normal time to play, Barca looked to put the tie beyond the reach of City, barring a stunning comeback, when Hermosa buried a rebound after Alexia's shot was saved on to the post by Roebuck.
City did have a late change through substitute Georgia Stanway, but her self-made volley was easily saved by Panos.
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