Manchester City 3-0 ACF Fiorentina: Taylor's side earn comfortable UWCL victory

A tantalising early performance from Manchester City put the game to bed in the opening minutes as the blues beat Fiorentina 3-0 in the Champions League.

Goals from Chloe Kelly, Sam Mewis and Lauren Hemp will give City a good advantage going into the second leg in Florence next Thursday. 

The Match

It was yet again a combination of Chloe Kelly and Lauren Hemp which resulted in the opening goal - this time within fewer than two minutes.

Good trickery from Kelly on the right, who easily beat her marker Greta Adami, allowed her to float in a looped ball which was met by Hemp in the middle.

And just as Fiorentina were trying to recover from the first, City quickly pounced again. With the attack this time coming down the left, Hemp slotted in Ellen White at the near post whose deft touch directed the ball into the roof of the net.

Her early antics now mean that Lauren Hemp has eleven goal involvements in her eleven Manchester City appearances this season, eight of which were goals.

The visitors from Italy were passive defensively in the early minutes, giving City the room shuttle the ball from left to right and focus on their build-up.

Their low block reduced the hosts to patient possession for the rest of the opening 45, with Katja Schroffenegger’s shot-stopping abilities nullifying any chances in front of goal

Just before the break, a collision between Steph Houghton and Sara Baldi resulted in the latter having to come off due to injury.

She was replaced by Scotland international Lana Clelland for the second half, with City unchanged.

Antonio Cincotta must have said the Italian equivalent of ‘stop Chloe Kelly getting the ball’ in the dressing room as the second half was a different story from the first.

City struggled to break through the low block, and although they were dominant, their football became slightly stale. 

Fiorentina came back into the game and organised themselves far better, although they struggled to create anything going forwards. Instead, the back five sat strong and the main aim was to make use of counter-attacks.

Rose Lavelle was brought on in the second half and made a good cameo. She was utilised on the right of the front three, with Kelly moved over to the left, and she was quickly impactful.

As the clock wound down, Chloe Kelly picked up her tenth assist of the season when she set up Sam Mewis for yet another headed goal at the back post.


Kelly and Hemp the perfect partnership of wingers

The most important part of the Manchester City team this year has undoubtedly been the performances of the two main wingers Kelly and Hemp.

The latter only began her season in December after an injury which she sustained in the Community Shield, but they have now grown to work very well together.

Kelly has played a different role to that which she performed at Everton, but one in which she is just as potent of a threat.

Fiorentina good defensively

Despite the opening ten minutes or so, where it took them time to settle into the game, Fiorentina were very strong defensively.

The back five stopped City from being able to get into the areas of the pitch where they are at their best, the two wingers nullified.

Instead, City had to try to go through the midfield and they just could not break through the strong back line. 

It stemmed the deficit and is something that may be used in the next leg.

Lavelle good enough to start

Through a mix of injury and the rest of the team performing well, Rose Lavelle’s minutes have been limited this season.

However, in recent matches since returning from her latest setback, she has performed well and brought added spark to the attack.

If she is at full fitness, then she should definitely be in contention for a position in Sunday’s starting eleven.