UEFA Women’s Champions League: Linkoping 3-5 Manchester City - Rampant Citizens send a clear message

Manchester City broke little sweat to punch their tickets to the last four of the UEFA Women's Champions League after overcoming Linkoping 5-3 on away turf, qualifying with a 7-3 aggregate after last week's 2-0 win at the Academy Stadium

The Citizens opened a four-goal lead inside the first stages of the game, wrapping up the qualification. However, the Swedish side attempted a rally to salvage the score, scoring twice. Nonetheless, City put the game to bed with another goal before Linkoping made the score a bit more respectable for them.

Nick Cushing's team will now face tournament favourites and defending champions Olympique Lyon, in a repeat of last year's unfortunate semi-final for England's representative.

In fact, City were no match for the French giants in both legs as the latter went on to claim the trophy in Cardiff, last May. This time around, the Citizens will hope for a different outcome as they aim for their first European trophy, where an all-English final is possible as Chelsea are one of the teams who will be involved in the semi-finals. 

Game over in the first-half

It was a memorable European night for the Citizens, extending their unbeaten streak on away soil which they hope it steers them all the way to Kyiv. 

Cushing's side drew first blood inside 14 minutes through a stupendous header from Jane Ross, who chalked up her fourth goal from her last three games, after receiving an inviting ball from Demi Stokes

The goal was a cold shower for the hosts as they hoped they would be the one who score first in an attempt to restore parity between the two sides.

However, City were in a class of their own and they immediately doubled the score when Melissa Lawley dropped the ball on Georgia Stanway's feet and the latter immediately curled the ball into the far net.

Stanway went on to score her second of the evening when with a billiard-shot, she struck the woodwork before the ball crossed over the line as City amassed a massive lead in Scandinavia. 

City continued to pile pressure on their opponents and they went close to extend their lead through the likes of Lawley, Nikita Parris and captain Steph Houghton. 

They made their pressure count on the brink of half-time when Jen Beattie headed home from a corner as City ended the first half leading by four goals to nil. 

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Completing formalities

After the change of ends, Linkopings seemed to have been inspired by their half-time talk as they were more spirited and opened the half brighter than their opponents.

Marija Banusic pulled one back with a first-timer. Ten minutes later, she added another one after converting a penalty spot, making the score 2-4 and with Linkopings transcended by their momentum and an inspired Banusic, they were set to earn a famous comeback. 

Yet, Izzy Christiansen, who came on in the second half, capitalised on a Parris' right-hand side cross to give restore the three-goal lead for City and essentially seal the win. 

Linkopings' pride helped them to add a third, making the score 5-3, through 22-year old Tove Almqvist as she concluded from a somewhat tight angle to put an end to a spectacular game.