Manchester City have been outplayed by Barcelona in the Women’s Champions League quarter-final with the Spanish side taking a deserved 3-0 lead into next week’s second leg.
In a blow to the idea that England’s Women’s Super League is Europe’s best, Barcelona proved far too good for the powerful City side on Wednesday as they struck with goals from Asisat Oshoala, Mariona Caldentey and Jennifer Hermoso in the first leg held in Monza.
The damage for City could have been worse if not for some fine goalkeeping from Ellie Roebuck.
Barca went ahead in the 35th minute through former Liverpool and Arsenal forward Oshoala, before Caldentey’s 53rd-minute penalty doubled the lead.
City, without injured skipper Steph Houghton, were awarded a spot-kick of their own three minutes later, but Chloe Kelly saw her attempt from 12 yards kept out by Sandra Panos.
Substitute Hermoso then notched Barca’s third with four minutes of normal time remaining to put them in a commanding position going into next Wednesday’s second leg at City’s Academy Stadium.
The winner of the tie will face either Lyon, the champions for the each of the last five years, or Paris St Germain, their great rivals who clash in the first leg of an all-French quarter-final later on Wednesday.