Scottish Champions, Glasgow City defeated professional side Spartak Jaffa 4-0 tonight in Serbia in their first match of their UEFA Women’s Champions League campaign. Two goals each from strikers Christie Murray and Kat Lindner ensured the very impressive win for City, who must win their group to be guaranteed to progress to the knock out last 32 stage of the competition.
Glasgow City began their quest to reach the last 32 of the UEFA Women’s Champions League with a 4-0 win over Spartak Jaffa at the Gradski Stadium in Subotica, Serbia.
City began the match nervously before the ball was brilliantly won by Clare Gemmell in midfield. The City midfielder then picked out Jo Love, who in turn found Christie Murray and the City striker spun and hit an outstanding right foot shot into the top corner, to put the Scottish Champions 1-0 up and ease a few nerves in the must win game.
Jane Ross and Jo Love both tested the keeper from the edge of the box in the opening 20 minutes, before Kat Lindner made it 2-0. A long ball from Spartak was cut out by the head of Eilish McSorley before travelling all the way to Lindner who took a touch before finishing low past the keeper.
City made it 3-0 on 27 minutes when brilliant link up between Lindner and Murray saw Murray side foot home at the edge of the six yard box after the striking partnership had ripped the Spartak defence apart.
The two combined again moments later, resulting in a tantalising ball across the face of the goal, which Jane Ross was just inches from converting. It could have been a lot worse for Spartak, but for some excellent goalkeeping from their number 1, to deny Jo Love and Jane Ross in particular.
In the second half, City continued to dominate the game even more with some fine passing and movement, with Murray, Eilish McSorley and Rachel Corsie all going close. Some outstanding play amongst the City players resulted in a wall pass at the edge of the box between Jo Love and Emma Mitchell and Mitchell’s resultant shot hit the post.
The keeper denied Murray once more with a fine save, before Spartak had a rare break up field, but shot wide.
With 25 minutes left on the clock, Jane Ross was replaced by Lisa Evans and shortly after coming on, the Scotland international had two efforts just wide of goal as she tried to put her side further ahead.
With less than 15 minutes remaining, Spartak cleared a City corner only as far as thirty yards out, which Kat Lindner picked up before hitting a powerful strike on goal, which was handled at the edge of the box. Jo Love stepped up to take the set piece but shot over the bar for her last action of the match, being replaced by Emma Woolley making her Champions League debut.
City made it 4-0 on the full-time whistle as Murray dribbled to the touchline before playing in Lindner who in turn set up Woolley. The City midfielder hit a low shot which saved by the feet of the Spartak keeper, with Lindner collecting the rebound and firing home, past the despairing defenders on the goal line.
Commenting on the match, City Head Coach Eddie Wolecki Black said: “We started the game a little bit shaky if I am honest, but the early goal certainly settled the whole team and after that we dominated possession of the ball and controlled the game. It is a great start to the group, three points, four goals, a clean sheet, but we know we have two tough games ahead, so still lots to do. We had three players make their Champions League debut today –Emma Woolley, Danica Dalziel and Christie Murray, which is fantastic for them and the club, so lots of positives. It is also great for our girls to play in front of such a large, passionate, home support as it adds to their experience of this high level of football.”
Next up for City is Mosta, the Champions of Malta, who went down 1-0 today to Klaksvik of the Faroe Islands. City take on Mosta on Saturday at the Gradski Stadium, Subotica, Serbia. Kick off 3.00pm local time.