It’s like Déjà vu. Manchester City and Olympique Lyonnais are set to face off again in the UEFA Women’s Champions League on Sunday afternoon.
Last time the two sides met, Lyon gave the then-debutants a masterclass in Manchester, taking 3-1 into their second leg. At home, the goals were not in abundance and Carli Lloyd scored the only goal of the match.
One goal was not enough for the Citizens and Lyon would go on to win their second successive Champions League title against French side Paris Saint-Germain.
There is no doubt that the French Giants are hot on the hunt for their fifth ever Champions League win, while City look to be the first team to make the final since Arsenal in 2007.
Looking ahead of this clash, Manchester City’s form is not as polished as it once was. Having fallen behind in the league to fellow semi-finalists Chelsea, City have been conceding more goals and have lost crucial games; including the WSL Cup final against Arsenal.
During the second leg of quarter-final tie between City and Swedish side Linköpings, the Manchester side conceded three goals – an alarming statistic. While they were able to score five, this raises questions about how they will defend against the likes of Eugenie Le Sommer, with Dzsenifer Marozsán creating opportunities.
This is not a worry for midfielder Izzy Christiansen, who told Manchester Evening News: “Without a doubt we think we can do it this year, form goes out the window and it's more strategic. We just have to make sure we represent ourselves and the club in the right way and in a way which we know we can."
The story for Lyon is vastly different. Last year’s champions currently sit nine points clear of second place Montpellier in Division 1 Feminine table. Additionally, in their last match, the quarter-final of Coupé de France Feminine, Lyon cruised past Arras with an emphatic 11-0 win.
In the Champions League, though, both sides have not faltered but Lyon have only conceded one goal to Barcelona in the quarter-final stage of the competition.
One of the most notable differences between the sides is the squad changes. In the buildup to this clash, this time last year, the focus was on the two American stars – Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan.
This time, the lens is on English right-back Lucy Bronze who will return to the CFA Stadium but will not be wearing the blue-kit the Citizens have grown accustomed to.
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While Lyon have recruited creativity in their former player Amandine Henry and USA’s Morgan Brian, they retain attacking genius from 22-year-old Ada Hegerberg – who has scored 26 goals in 16 appearances. A scary thought for any opposition.