October 17, 2021

Taylor: City Women capable of Barca comeback

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Manchester City Women are “more than capable” of scoring the goals required to overcome their three-goal deficit against Barcelona in the Women’s Champions League, according to head coach Gareth Taylor.

Chloe Kelly saw a penalty saved as City Women lost 3-0 to Barcelona Femeni in the first leg of their quarter-final tie in Monza last Wednesday.

The result gives Man City a mountain to climb in Wednesday’s second leg at the City Academy.

Kelly’s last-gasp strike earned City a 1-0 win over Reading to turn up the heat on Chelsea in the Women’s Super League title race as they continued their fantastic domestic form.

PA - Gareth Taylor 0:39
Taylor felt his side deserved their 11th straight WSL win – a 1-0 victory over Reading

Sitting just two points behind leaders Chelsea after having won their 11th-straight league game, City have scored 55 league goals and conceded just 11.

Although last week’s European outing resulted in a rare defeat, Taylor’s confidence is still there, and he believes his side’s firepower gives them a chance to turn the tie around.

“I think we’ve proved we can score goals, this season,” he said.

“We are right up there in goals scored, the first team in the league to 50 goals. So we are more than capable.

“We created a lot of chances against Barcelona. We’ve given ourselves an uphill task but in terms of me being confident enough to say that we can achieve it, yeah.

“Is it going to be difficult? Of course, but for sure, we will be going for it.”

While City are capable of finding the net, they come up against a Barcelona defence that has now gone 12 successive games without conceding a goal.

Despite that, Taylor was impressed with his side’s ability to trouble that unit in the first leg.

Mariona Caldentey of FC Barcelona takes on Ellen White and Chloe Kelly of Manchester City during the UEFA Womens Champions League match at Stadio Brianteo, Monza (AP)
Image: Mariona Caldentey of FC Barcelona takes on Ellen White and Chloe Kelly

“I think we got past [their defence],” he said. “You saw in the first game we did.

“If we weren’t creating chances, then we’d need to look at finding another way, or really take our hat off and say: ‘[Barcelona] are incredible, defensively.

“But I think there are areas we can definitely exploit, and we exploited them in the first game. It was just a question of taking our chances.

Barcelona goalkeeper Sandra Panos celebrates after saving a penalty shot by Man City's Chloe Kelly
Image: Barcelona goalkeeper Sandra Panos celebrates after saving a penalty attempt from City’s Chloe Kelly

“That game could have been a real high-scoring game.

“So that’s it. Like I said previously, the game never changes.

“It’s about taking your opportunities in front of goal and keeping them out the other end.”

The match kicks off on Wednesday at 4pm. The other quarter-final second-legs will see Wolfsburg host Chelsea on Wednesday at 1pm (1-2 agg) and Rosengard face Bayern (0-3 agg) on Thursday, while the match between Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain has been postponed due to a number of coronavirus cases in the Lyon squad.