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Academy take first leg lead
 Women's Football News 9 Nov 2014
 
FC Barcelona 0 Bristol Academy 1 (Corredera og 26)
Bristol Academy will take a one-goal advantage into the second leg of their UEFA Women's Champions League Round of 16 tie with Barcelona following a first half own goal and rearguard display. 
 
Barcelona had not lost at home for 55 matches and dominated most of the match but Bristol Academy, who managed only three shots all game, defended brilliantly with goalkeeper Mary Earps in fine form between the posts.
 
Barcelona came out of the blocks quickly and confidently playing one touch passes around the Bristol Academy midfield and back four. The home side dominated possession with Sonia Bermudez and Marta Corredera forcing saves from Earps but they were stunned on the 26 minute mark when Academy took the lead with virtually their first attack.
 
Angharad James' pass released Natasha Harding in the area and her low cross was turned into her own net by Corredera for the opening goal.
 
Barcelona responded strongly to the setback with Sonia hitting the woodwork and Earps once again stood firm with further saves from Corredera and Alexia. Harding shot wide at the other end but Academy held onto their lead going into the interval.
 
The pattern of the game continued after the break with Barcelona pressing hard for an equaliser and Academy forced into a defensive, defiant rearguard.
 
Jennifer Hermoso shot wide from distance and Ruth Garcia went close with a header but the Academy defence, well marshalled by Jemma Rose and supported by Jaz Matthews, held out under pressure to take a precious lead going into the second leg.
 
The teams meet again on Thursday night at Ashton Gate (7.30pm) and there is still work to do for Academy but they have given themselves the best possible chance to earn themselves a place in the quarter finals. 
 
FC Barcelona: Laura Rafols, Marta Torrejon, Ruth Garcia, Marta Unzue, Melanie Serrano, Jennifer Hermoso (sub Mariona Caldentey 74mins), Marta Corredera, Virginia Torrecilla, Vicky Losada, Sonia Bermudez (sub Ana Maria Romero 57mins), Alexia Putellas (sub Gemma Gili 56mins). Subs not used: Chelsea Ashurst, Esther Romero, Andrea Sanchez, Cristina Baudet.

Bristol Academy: Mary Earps, Grace McCatty, Loren Dykes, Jaz Matthews, Jemma Rose, Sophie Ingle, Natalia Pablos Sanchon (sub Laura Del Rio 83mins), Angharad James, Natasha Harding, Nikki Watts, Corinne Yorston. Subs not used: Alice Evans, Cristina Vega Leandro, Frankie Brown, Georgia Evans, Gabriella Bird, Alex Hurst.


 
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