Keira Walsh Thunderstrike hands City advantage in Champions League

Manchester City made it three straight wins in the Champions League with a hard fought 1-0 at home to Brondby at the Academy Stadium.

The opening 15 minutes saw few chances and it wasn’t until Toni Duggan found some space cutting in from the touchline on the left to drag a shot wide of the post that either keeper was tested.

The games first save came courtesy of Katrine Abel as she was forced to push away a Lucy Bronze effort with her feet after the full back had been played through by Kosovare Asllani on 24 minutes. City then almost took a freak lead from the resulting corner as Captain Steph Houghton’s hooked effort over her shoulder almost crept in under the crossbar as Abel was forced to push it away.

Brondby responded and Karen Bardsley was forced to push a low shot away at full stretch after Nanna Christiansen’s turn and snap shot inside the penalty area.

City should have taken the lead on 55 minutes when a superb through ball from Keira Walsh released Jane Ross one-on-one who rounded the keeper but took a touch too many allowing her shot to be cleared off the line by Simone Sorensen.

A close game was always going to need something special to break the deadlock and it came on 75 minutes as Keira Walsh fired home a rocket of an effort from 25 yards out to give City the lead. It was the teenagers first goal for the club and her celebrations showed as much.

City almost doubled their lead on 79 minutes when Jill Scott released substitute Nikita Parris on the right hand side; the winger burst into the box but she fired her effort over the bar.

Brondby responded and almost levelled when a shot fell from the edge of the area fell into the path of Simone Sorensen but Karen Bardsley was quick off her line to block the effort at her near post. Bardsley was called upon again in the 89th minute as Katrine Veje attempted to lob the England keeper from 20 yards out but Bardsley reacted brilliantly to tip the effort onto the crossbar.

However City hung on to claim a valuable lead to take into next Wednesday’s second leg.

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