Manchester City’s UEFA Women’s Champions League run ended in disappointment last night as they lost 4-2 on aggregate to Spanish league leaders Barcelona.
The Barclays FA Women’s Super League side went into the second leg trailing 3-0 and it would have taken a Herculean effort to turn the tie. Unfortunately for them, they could only manage a 2-1 victory on the day which confirmed their elimination.
When speaking in the post-match press conference in which FAWSL Full-Time were present, head coach Gareth Taylor said that he knew that his side had to be bold in their bid to turn the game.
“We had to go out and chase the game,” he said. “We had to go out and be aggressive, take the game to them.
“Once they score the away goal, it’s an uphill battle for us.”
That away goal meant that The Cityzens needed to win the match 5-1 if they wanted to progress. On paper, the 4-2 aggregate defeat appears like there was quite a large gulf between the two sides, however, Taylor didn’t see it that way.
“I thought it was fine margins over the two legs, real fine margins as to who was going to go through,” he said. “I take my hat off to them they are good team but we’re a good team as well.
“As much as people talk about the football that’s played, the way we arrive in the final third, you sometimes just need the big moments to go your way.”
Barcelona have been irrepressible so far this season having scored 103 goals in the league and conceding just three. They also boast a 100% winning run in the Primera Iberdrola this campaign so it was going to be no easy feat getting past them. However, Taylor takes solace in the fact that his side are the only team to beat the Catalan club over 90 minutes this season.
“I think it’s a positive in winning the game, we just came up a little bit short,” stated the City head coach. “They’re on a very good run of not conceding goals and I think over the two legs when you think back there was opportunity for us to score even more.
“That’s a positive. These experiences will stand us in good stead and I look forward to meeting them again. I wish them all the best in the semi-final.”
Barcelona will face either Lyon or Paris Saint-Germain in the final four whilst Taylor and his players must now focus their attentions on the domestic competitions. City are currently chasing down champions Chelsea for the Barclays FA Women’s Super League title while they are also looking to lift the Vitality Women’s FA Cup for the third consecutive season.