Manchester City’s early Janine Beckie goal and a dominant amount of possession was not enough to take an advantage to the return leg in Madrid with Corral scoring with 10 minutes remaining to finish the first leg all square at 1-1.
It was Atletico who had the first chance when Gemma Bonner fouled Ludmila on the edge of the box. The resulting free-kick forced Ellie Roebuck into a fine double save, first away from goal, and then tipped onto the crossbar.
City in possession however, looked threatening, with Jill Scott and Janine Beckie combaining to nearly give City the lead when the Canadian forced the keeper into a low save.
It only took 30 seconds later for the deadlock to be broken however. A Keira Walsh through-ball rather fortunately bobbled through to Beckie and she finished expertly into the top right corner, a ideal start.
Caroline Weir was proving to be a nuisance for the Atletico defence and her low cross almost doubled City’s lead when Jill Scott poked it wide. The first half did then settle into a pattern that would’ve suited City, holding onto the ball and pulling around the opposition.
Atletico did have the first change of the second half, with Ludmila using her electric pace to create space for a shot on goal. Thankfully for City, the shot was straight at Roebuck and she could easily parry away.
City again swayed the game into a pattern of slow possession with only Beckie’s long range effort really testing either keeper. Lauren Hemp used her pace and power all night and almost scored in the 72nd minute when she weaved through the defence before seeing her shot blocked.
But as City seemed to tire, Atletico smelt blood and got an equaliser when Corral turned in from close range. Suddenly, the whole complexion of the tie changes with an away goal.
City had Ellie Roebuck to thank for not going behind when with five minutes to go, Ludmila turned brilliantly before firing a shot on goal which the keeper saved with her legs.
As the full time whistle blew, Nick Cushing will be frustrated that City couldn’t hold on to the one goal lead. Even more frustrated that Atletico will have a crucial away goal when the Blues travel to Madrid.
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