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Gareth Taylor confident Man City Women can overturn 3-0 deficit against Barca

Birmingham City v Manchester City – FA Women’s Super League – St. George’s Park
(Image credit: Nick Potts)

Gareth Taylor said he believed Manchester City could turn the tie around after the first leg of their Women’s Champions League quarter-final saw them beaten 3-0 by Barcelona in Monza.

A strike by former Liverpool and Arsenal forward Asisat Oshoala put Barca ahead in the 35th minute and Mariona Caldentey doubled the lead with a 53rd-minute penalty.

City’s Chloe Kelly saw her spot-kick saved by Sandra Panos three minutes later, before substitute Jennifer Hermoso notched a third for Barca with four minutes of normal time remaining.

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The second leg takes place at City’s Academy Stadium next Wednesday.

Asked about the task they face in that game, City boss Taylor said: “I don’t think it’s a tough task.

“I think we can turn it around. I think it’s within our capabilities. The way this team has performed this season, the goals we have scored, I think we can do it, no problem at all.

“I feel confident that we are able to do this.”

Prior to the opener, Barca had been denied by a number of saves by Ellie Roebuck, with some of the chances coming after City had lost possession.

As well as Kelly’s penalty, opportunities not taken by City included efforts from Caroline Weir and Ellen White – captaining in the absence of the injured Steph Houghton – while Sam Mewis had a goal disallowed for offside.

Taylor said: “There’s no doubting they probably edged it on chances created, but we certainly had a number of good opportunities, and we’ve been normally sticking those away, and I think it could have changed the complexion of the result.

“But for me, it’s still half-time and we are capable of scoring that amount of goals to get us through.”

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He added: “Chloe has done great for us this season, she has scored penalties for us, and she will in the future.

“It’s not just looking at the penalty – I think when you look at the amount of good opportunities we had, to come away not scoring, after the vein of form we have been in, it is disappointing.

“But of course, as well I want to make sure we don’t give away as many opportunities as we did in the game today. Barcelona are a very good team but we need to be better in both boxes.”

City were again without injured captain Steph Houghton (Tim Markland/PA).

City were again without injured captain Steph Houghton (Tim Markland/PA)

Centre-back Houghton has not been involved for City’s last three games, due to what Taylor has described as a problem “in the Achilles area”.

When asked how badly they had missed their captain on Wednesday, Taylor said: “I think you miss anyone who is that calibre of player, but we’ve missed Steph in previous rounds of this competition, so I wouldn’t want to use that as kind of an excuse. We know we need to be better in both boxes.

“Hopefully we get Steph back in the not too distant future.”

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