Women’s Champions League, first leg: Atletico Madrid v Manchester City Women, 1-1
- City concede cruel 89th minute goal to draw with Spanish champions Atletico
- 1-1 result lends for an intriguing second leg in Manchester
Manchester City Women kicked-off their 2018/19 Champions League campaign with a 1-1 draw away to Atletico Madrid.
City, who reached the semi-finals of the Women’s Champions League the past two seasons, started the game lively and opened the scoring early into the night’s proceedings.
Gemma Bonner headed City in front after 16 minutes from a Caroline Weir corner to the near-post. This was Bonner’s first goal in a City shirt and an important one at that.
A great start for City was met with instant pressure from the hosts. Amanda Sampedro’s effort on goal had to be tipped over by Karen Bardsley in the City net.
Before the break City’s Tessa Wullaert produced a goal-line clearance from Elena Linari’s ball, before Bonner would deny Ludmila Da Silva an attempt at goal.
The Spanish league champions were eager to grab an equaliser and stepped it up a gear during the second 45.
Bardsley was alert to prevent Da Silva from equalising, with a fine save.
Claire Emslie had City’s best chance of the second-half, but the substitute’s curled effort went wide.
The City back-line, who were without captain Steph Houghton, stood firm for the majority of the match. Goalkeeper, Bardsley had an impressive game between the sticks for the travelling City side.
Nick Cushing’s side thought they were home and dry, but a Kenti Robles deflected-cross found itself into the back of the City net. The late goal was enough for Atletico to snatch the draw.
City, who drew their opening Women’s Super League game against champions Chelsea at the weekend, have another tough pill to swallow after the harsh draw.
The first leg draw does leave the reverse fixture, to be played at the Academy Stadium, Manchester on Wednesday, 26 September, hanging in the balance.
City’s away goal could be crucial going into the second leg, and it gives them a real chance of progressing into the last 16.