Strong PSG side end UWCL dreams for City

Report by Graham Semple

Glasgow City’s memorable and historic Champions League adventure has come to an end after a 5-0 (7-0 aggregate) quarter-final defeat to French giants, Paris Saint-Germain, in the Parc des Princes this evening.

An unfortunate own-goal from Suzanne Lappin gave Les Parisiennes a narrow but deserved half-time advantage. A double from Marie-Laure Delie and two penalties from Sabrina Delannoy and Kenza Dali gave the team from the French capital an emphatic 5-0 victory and progression into the last four for the first time.

City made two changes from the starting eleven which lost 2-0 in the home leg last weekend. Lappin and Abbi Grant came into the side at the expense of Leanne Ross and Denise O’Sullivan as the visitors persevered with a predominantly defensive formation in an attempt to contain and frustrate their illustrious opponents.

PSG were expected to dominate possession – just like they had at the Excelsior Stadium – and they were soon stroking the ball around with confidence and keen to force the issue on the pristine grass surface. City defended deep and limited the French side to a few clear-cut chances, however their stubborn resistance was eventually overcome in unfortunate circumstances.

In the 26th minute a determined run and low cross from Delie bounced off the leg of the unlucky Lappin and into the net to give PSG a fortuitous 1-0 lead. The goal effectively killed the tie as a competitive contest and the Rouge et Bleu laid siege to the Glasgow goal for the remainder of the half however the visitors maintained their composure and kept them at bay.

PSG were not prepared to settle for a slim advantage and were soon back on the front foot in the early stages of the second half. The skilful Fatmire Alushi was denied in the 47th minute by a smart save by Lee Alexander, however the second goal was just moments away.

A wonderful team move eventually saw Alushi’s low cross turned home by Delie who nipped in front of her marker to grab her first of the match to double the home side's lead.

Goalkeeper, Alexander, who has been superb throughout the Champions League campaign, was again in fine form making a number of fine stops to thwart the French side, but she was beaten for a third time in the 65th minute.

Emma Black upended the excellent Cruz Traña in the box and the referee pointed to the spot. PSG captain, Delannoy, made no mistake from twelve yards to put her side three goals in front.

The Parisiennes were exploiting the space and gaps which were increasingly appearing in the City defence and it was no surprise when Delie fired home a Delannoy cut-back to grab her second: 4-0.

A fifth and final goal arrived five minutes from time. Cheryl McCulloch bundled over substitute, Kosovare Asllani, in the box and the referee awarded a second spot-kick. This time Dali coolly converted.

City defended well and fought tirelessly over the two legs but they will be slightly disappointed with their ball retention against an outstanding French outfit. Attention will now turn to domestic matters for the Glasgow club, but memories of a dramatic European campaign that began against Nove Zamky last August will not be forgotten for a very long time.

Teams:

PSG: Kiedrzynek, Boulleau, Georges, Delannoy (C), Henning, Hamraoui, Kaci, Alushi, Seger, Cruz Traña (Lahmari 78), Delie (Asllani 69)

Subs Not Used: Benameur, Krahn, Dali, Bresonik, Geyoro

Glasgow City: Alexander, Jones, Docherty, Black (C), Lauder Love, Montgomery (Fairlie 67), Lappin (Ross 83) McCulloch, Brown, Grant (O’Sullivan 67)

Subs Not Used: Cunningham, Rafferty, McMurchie