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Leanne Ross: Arsenal are up there as one of the best teams in Europe

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Pic: Graeme Berry

Pic: Graeme Berry

Scotland international Leanne Ross believes Glasgow City face one of Europe’s top teams in the last 16 of the Champions League.

Speaking after her side’s impressive 3-1 win over Standard Liege, the City stalwart, she said: “I have had a lot of big games. I’ve played Potsdam, Frankfurt and Arsenal are obviously up there as well as one of the best teams in Europe. They aren’t ranked in the top five for nothing.”

The midfielder who was playing at full back on the night says they won’t treat the former Super League champions any differently, she added: “We are looking forward to the game and we will treat it exactly like every other game. We will give them the respect that they deserve. We are not frightened to play them but obviously they are a great team and we will need to focus and get our game plan right.”

With the Scottish champions having fallen at this stage last season, the 32-year-old from Falkirk says the last 16 was always City’s goal in the Europe, she continued: “Absolutely, that’s what we set out tonight to achieve. It was always the last 16 for us and we obviously focused all our attention on that tonight and we have got the result that we needed which is pleasing.”

But what is behind City’s success this season, Ross says it’s down to a change in play at the Petershill-based club: “I think we are a different team and we play in a different way now, we had to adapt to the players that we lost a couple of seasons ago. But I feel we have grown as a team over the year and we are strengthening with players coming back from injury as well so that’s helpful.”

On getting two early goals, Ross added: “I don’t necessarily think it makes it easier. It certainly helps to calm us down a little but the game plan was just to go out and play the 90 minutes.

“If they were to score first then we knew they would be in control of the tie. But to score first is pleasing and it gives you that helping hand and it helped us get through the 90 minutes. It was great to put in a better performance than we did away with the performance we had in Belgium.

“I think we were quite lucky to come away with a two each draw to be honest. But we always knew we could play a lot better and if we did that tonight then chances were we would go through.”

Ross who has amassed 96 caps for Scotland having first turned out for the national side in 2006 was delighted with the big crowd on the night: “It was great especially the last five, ten minutes when we were getting a wee bit tired. It’s obviously good to have your friends and family in the crowd but other people were also lifting us and pushing us right to the 90th minute. It was great, thanks to everybody that came out especially on a night like this.”

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