What a historic day this is for Real Madrid Femenino! Las Blancas have secured a spot in the group stage of the UEFA Women’s Champions League after a 1-0 win over Manchester City Women in the 2nd Leg of the qualifying round, winning the matchup 2-1 on aggregate after the 1st Leg resulted in a 1-1 draw.
Claudia Zornoza put Real Madrid ahead in the 44th minute after Teresa Abelleira’s corner resulted in a rebound which Zornoza struck fiercely, leaving City keeper Karima Benameur no chance, although she should have done much better. That was enough for Las Blancas to progress as it was a rather unentertaining affair between the two sides outside the goal.
The match also saw the return of superstar Kosovare Asllani, who missed the 1st Leg and the game against Levante in Primera Iberdrola due to COVID-19.
Here are the player ratings from the game:
Misa Rodríguez (6.5/10): Probably tipped the ball to the crossbar in the second half following a shot from Hayley Raso. A poor giveaway could’ve led to a goal from City but thankfully they couldn’t capitalise. She wasn’t troubled otherwise.
Kenti Robles (7/10): Robles was solid defensively and made good runs during the attack. She had a decent go at goal in the first half, but it was shot straight at Benameur, who parried it away for a corner.
Ivana Andres was the Player of the Match for Real Madrid at Manchester City
Ivana Andrés (9.5/10): The captain just doesn’t cease to amaze! What a stellar defensive performance from the #5. She was everywhere: tackling, intercepting, blocking, clearing, helping in the build-up from the back. A fantastic performance and Player of the Match in my opinion.
Babett Peter (8.5/10): She improved on her outing from the 1st Leg with a very good performance at the heart of the defence. Peter is starting to form a remarkable centre-back pairing with Ivana.
Lucía Rodríguez (6.25/10): Although she didn’t help much in attack, she was aware of the surroundings and reacted well in time on several occasions to intercept the ball or break an attack.
Claudia Zornoza (7.5/10): The former Levante midfielder couldn’t have imagined a better way to register her first goal for her new club. A ferocious strike right before halftime was enough to decide the game. Aznar deployed her as a wide midfielder on the right, which isn’t her natural position, but she did fairly well with her close control, passing, and technical ability.
Aurélie Kaci (6.5/10): Kaci produced a lot of heavy touches and her passing was wayward at times, although she made it up for it with a great performance as the holding midfielder, constantly trying to win the second balls, pressing well, and putting on a typical defensive midfielder performance.
Teresa Abelleira (8/10): Teresa is starting to impose herself as the governor-general of the Real Madrid Femenino midfield. She dropped deep between the two centre-backs to function as a quarter-back and distribute from a much deeper position. Her long-range passing was on show and her set-piece deliveries did cause panic within the Manchester City box.
Athenea del Castillo (6/10): Apart from a few flashes of her dribbling brilliance here and there, Athenea had a relatively quiet outing as compared to the 1st Leg, where she was the tormentor-in-chief.
Nahikari García (6/10): Nahikari is slowly but gradually returning to her best form. She produced a moment of absolute off-the-ball genius in the first half which resulted in her finding the back of the net, only to be incorrectly ruled out for offside. She pressed much more tonight and dropped deep on occasion to support the build-up.
Esther González (6/10): Although Esther couldn’t cause much trouble to the Manchester City defenders, she was thoroughly involved with the ball and she dropped deep between tight spaces to help Real Madrid Femenino progress the ball higher up the pitch. Not a bad performance at all.
Olga Carmona (NA): Came on in the 76th minute for Claudia Zornoza but couldn’t have any sort of impact.
Kosovare Asllani (NA): The Swedish superstar returned to the fold as she was brought on for Nahikari García in the 86th minute.
Caroline Møller (NA): Came off the bench in stoppage time to replace Esther González.