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Women's Football News
The three British teams experienced contrasting fortunes in the opening legs of their UEFA Women's Champions League Round of 16 ties this week.
Glasgow City were the first of the three in action as they travelled to Denmark to take on Brondby IF and they could hardly have got off to a better start, Samantha Kerr firing in a shot which was deflected in after just 40 seconds of play
Brondby tried to hit back from the early setback but were making little impression against the City defence and the SWPL Champions also looked dangerous on the break, Kirsty Howat curling a shot from the edge of the area just wide.
Clare Shine went close with a header at the start of the second half but there was a scare for City at the other end when Eilish McSorley headed against her own bar as she tried to make a clearance. However just as Brondby were having their best spell of the game, City won a free kick at the other end which was floated into the area by Leanne Ross and home keeper Katrine Abel punched the ball into her own net under little pressure, to double City's lead.
Nanna Christiansen crashed a shot against the bar but this was the only major scare for Scott Booth's side as they ran down the clock to secure a magnificent 2-0 victory and leave themselves in the driving seat for the return leg at Petershill Park on 31st October.
Next up were Arsenal who were also away in the first leg of their tie against SK Slavia Prague and they took control of the game right away, taking the game to the home side. The Gunners put themselves into a commanding position when Vivianne Miedema scored twice in a three minute spell midway through the first half and after Beth Mead had missed a glorious chance to make it three, Miedema did complete a first half hat-trick.
It took just seven minutes after the break for the brilliant Miedema to score a fourth goal and Kim Little made Arsenal's position even stronger when she further increased their lead from the penalty spot on the hour. Slavia did not give up and pulled two goals back in the last twenty minutes through Katerina Svitkova and Mia Persson but the Gunners take a 5-2 advantage into the second leg and are within touching distance of keeping up their proud record of reaching the last eight in the competition.
Manchester City played host to Atletico Madrid at the Academy Stadium and they made a great start as Keira Walsh slid a great pass inro the path of Janine Beckie who planted her shot past former Arsenal goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal for the opening goal in the fourteenth minute. The two teams had met at this stage twelve months ago with Atletico triumphing on that occasion and the Spanish side were looking strong again with City keeper Ellie Roebuck making a couple of great saves to keep her side in front. Both teams traded chances as the second half wore on but with nine minutes remaining, Charlyn Corral levelled the scores and grabbed a vital away goal for her side. Therefore, the 1-1 draw means that although Atletico take a slight edge into the return meeting, City are still well in this tie but will need to score if they are to have any chance of progressing.
In the other first leg ties, Olympique Lyonnais are all but through to the quarter finals as they ran out 4-0 winners away to Fortuna Hjorring. which included two goals from Ada Hegerberg to equal Anja Mittag's competition record of 51. VfL Wolfsburg and FC Barcelona were the only home teams to record victories, scoring six and five times without reply against FC Twente and FC Minsk respectively, and there were comfortable wins for Bayern Munich and Paris Saint Germain.
The second legs of the quarter finals will be played in two weeks time with Manchester City in action on the Wednesday, whilst Glasgow City and Arsenal resume their ties the following night.
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