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Posted 7th October 2016, 15:05 in
Euros News

UWCL Rd of 32 First Leg Round Up

Final first leg ties of UWCL Rd of 32 played yesterday, with home victories in 3 games (inc Man City) & a win for Barcelona in Minsk.

Manchester City 2-0 Zvezda-2005 
Manchester City Women claimed victory in their very first Uefa Women's Champions League fixture at the Academy Stadium, against resilient Russian opposition. Jill Scott in the first half and Lucy Bronze, with almost the last kick of the game, emerged as the goalscoring heroines on a night where City dominated but again slightly lacked a cutting edge in the final third.
Against a well organised Zvezda defense and midfield, City had much of the ball but clear openings were at a premium, certainly in the first 45. Still, Nick Cushings' side started positively after a demanding and likely draining past few weeks of big match action and were on top from the off, creating the first clear cut chance on eleven minutes as Jill Scott slipped in Toni Duggan but she was well tackled by Ekaterina Pantukhina. 
Kosovare Asllani, starting after coming off the bench in the Conti Cup final on Sunday, spun her marker but shot tamely, Lucy Bronze's surging runs to by-line were getting behind the Zvezda back line and she nearly teed up Izzy Christiansen, then Jill Scott headed a Bronze cross down for Duggan but her attempt was well blocked by Valentina Orlova.
The breakthrough finally came shortly after when on thirty four minutes, Scott rose highest to head and then force home after Duggan was denied by the able keeper Iryna Zvarich. 
Duggan was a lively character on the wing for Manchester City and was delivering some decent balls from a succession of right wing corners, one of which was met by Steph houghton whose header came back off the crossbar. 
City's defenders were pushing up to support the attack, with often only Yulia Korniievets to marshal, but Pozdeeva was a skilful link between midfield and the lone striker and maintained a threat on the break. It was some slack play, just another minor individual error which was a feature of City's play in the first half - particularly for a side with such high standards -  came just before the whistle when Antastasia Akimova picked up a loose Jennifer Beattie pass but Karen Bardsley was equal to the attempt on goal. 
Manchester City began the second half, with a noticeable shift up in tempo and nearly scored that crucial second goal when Kosovare Asllani hit a sweet strike but she was denied by a fine save. 
For lengthy spells it was all one way traffic with wave after wave of City attacks. Efforts from Duggan, Houghton and Jen Beattie went close, then Asllani had two chances in the space of five minutes as the Swede got on the end of a Duggan cross, turning only to fire straight at the keeper, then she was then denied by some crucial defending as she was played in by Bronze. 
Cushing's side kept pressing and controlling possession, with Kiera Walsh again impressive and unflappable in the deeper midfielder role but the second goal seemed to be evading them, with Bronze's in-swinging cross being side-footed at the keeper by a lurking Tessel Middag (on for Christiansen). 
Zvarich was very much keeping her side in the game with several fine reaction saves but it was her goal frame that saved her when a nice move resulted in Scott striking the woodwork from six yards out ("It was a cross", she admiited afterwards!). 
Zveda nearly nicked an crucial away goal on eighty minutes on the counter attack when Houghton misjudged the flight of a long ball and didn't get enough on her back header to Karen Bardsley. The keeper raced out of her box and slid to clear, instead catching the Zvezda forward and conceding a free kick and receiving a yellow card.
From the resulting  free-kick Iya Andrushchak played in Orlova but she was stopped in her tracks by the ever present Houghton. 
Just when it seemed that Zvezda would return to Perm with the 1-0 loss they seemed content to settle on, Cushing's side sealed the victory with a cracking strike. It was Bronze's second goal in a week, both coming after 90 mins, this one in the 93rd minute, when she met a dropping ball perfectly on the edge of the are to volley low into bottom corner. Zvarich got a hand to it but could not keep it out. 
Job done for City, in impressively business-like fashion, against a wiley side that will still prove a test in the return fixture next week. 

(With thanks to Josh Bunting.)

Eskilstuna United 1-0 Glasgow City
Mimmi Larsson’s goal early in the second half proved enough to separate the sides as Glasgow City lost 1-0 away to UWCL debutants Eskilstuna United, in front of 3,987 fans at the Tunavallen Stadium in Sweden.
It was an evenly fought contest, with chances few and far between for both sides in the first half with City looking to cause problems on the break, with Fiona Brown particularly menacing for City.
Six minutes into the second half Eskilstuna went ahead when Ingrid Schjelderup reached the by line and crossed to Larsson who put a powerful header past Gemma Fay in the City nets. The Scottish Champions almost hit back a few minutes later as Brown raced past Glodis Viggosdottir, but her firm shot was saved by Emelie Lundberg in goals for Eskilstuna.
Another chance came and went for City on 61 minutes, when great play from the visitors saw Jo Love play Clare Shine in behind the home defence, but the City and Irish forward cut back just evaded the oncoming cavalry and the opportunity was gone.
Gemma Fay was called into action with 20 minutes remaining when she saved well from the head of Schjelderup after a home side free kick and again minutes later when she got down brilliantly to deny a shot from Larsson.
The game then turned in City’s favour with the visitors having a number of efforts at goal, with Hayley Lauder and Haley Rosen in particular going close with rasping drives.
In the end, City were unable to get that all important away goal, but with just one goal between the sides it is most definitely all to play for next Thursday when the two sides meet at The Excelsior Stadium in Airdrie. 
Commenting on the match, City Head Coach Scott Booth said, “We knew it was going to be a tough first leg here in Sweden, but we feel we did our homework well and put into practice a game plan that has kept us in this tie. The players worked extremely hard but we know we need to do the same in the second leg as well as taking a couple of chances to get us through.”

Tickets are on sale in advance for Glasgow City v Eskilstuna United at or can be purchased on the night at the turnstile. Kick off is 7.45pm and prices are £10 adult and £5 kids.

(Image top: Fiona Brown in action, Tommy Hughes)
LSK Kvinner 3-1 Paris Saint-Germain
Irene Paredes headed the 2015 finalists in front in the first half, but the Lillestrom side turned things around after Emilie Haavi replied on 67 minutes. Lene Mykjåland finished following a team move, and Ingrid Marie Spord headed LSK's third from a free-kick.
Minsk 0-3 Barcelona
Jennifer Hermoso scored early and again in added time to aid last season's quarter-finalists to victory in Belarus. Marta Torrejón made the first before getting the second herself in front of more than 2,000 fans in Minsk.


England v France
Fri, 21 Oct 2016
8:00pm, Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster

Adults £7.50
Children/Conc £3.50
Family of 4 £15 (2 adults + 2 children)


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Neither are workable or likely at present but hypothetically, would you prefer a more strict salary cap in the FA WSL OR should centrally contracted England players (that receive salaries from The FA) be allocated more evenly around WSL1 clubs?

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