Manchester City and Chelsea with one foot in European Semi finals

Chelsea and Manchester City Ladies teams on course for Champions League Finals

Manchester City Ladies took one step closer to the final four of this year’s Women’s Champions League with a 2-0 home victory over Swedish champions Linkopings, in their first leg tie last night.

City controlled the game from start to finish and were unlucky not to open the scoring early when Keira Walsh found space in front off goal, but saw her effort hit the post. Linkoping’s were then denied a penalty claim, when England and City skipper Steph Houghton challenged Lina Hurtig inside the area, only for the ref to wave play on!

As City pushed for an opening goal, it eventually came of the back of their own penalty claim, when Lisa Lantz was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the visitor’s area. This meant Linkoping’s were reduced to 10 players as Lantz was dismissed for her second booking in as many minutes, while Nikkta Paris stepped up to give the home team the goal they had been looking for.

City doubled their lead early in the second half with Scotland international Jane Ross, latching on to Mel Lawley’s pin point cross, to send a looping header past Linkoping’s keeper Hilda Carlen. Late in the game Georgia Stanway had a chance to increase the lead, but saw her effort hit the crossbar as City looked to add to their tally.

Not to be out done by their fellow Super league team, Chelsea were also involved in European action last night travelling to French side Montpellier as they also looked to earn a place in the semi -finals for the first ever time. In an end to end game that saw both teams create several chance’s it was Chelsea’s dogged defence and coolness in front of goal that saw them take control of the tie with two away goals in the second half giving them a 2-0 advantage going into next week’s second leg. With the home side possibly having the slightly better chances in the first half, hitting the post twice, while Chelsea keeper did well to deny Virginia Torrecilla’s header.

The visitors upped their game in the second half and opening the scoring soon after the break, England’s Fran Kirby’s neat through ball finding Ji So-yun, who’s low finish sneaked past the home keeper. Montpellier pushed forward looking for an equalizer, but it was the visitors again doubled the lead through the head of substitute Erin Cuthbert shortly after her introduction.

With both Man City and Chelsea holding the advantage going into next weeks second leg games, both teams just need to avoid defeat by more than one goal next week to ensure there are two british teams in the final four for the first time in the competitions history.

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