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No further Irish interest in Champions League as Man City exit and Chelsea march on to semis

Barcelona beat City today, while the Blues brushed aside Wolfsburg.

It was a momentous day for Chelsea.
It was a momentous day for Chelsea.
Image: DPA/PA Images

THERE’LL BE NO further Irish interest in the Women’s Champions League after Manchester City’s exit today, though another English team march on.

Chelsea cruised into the European semi-finals after brushing aside Wolfsburg 3-0 to make the last four 5-1 on aggregate, while Barcelona got past City — home of Irish internationals Megan Campbell and Tyler Toland, though the latter is on loan at Glasgow City, while Alan Mahon is assistant coach there — 4-2 thanks to a three-goal first-leg lead.

Pernille Harder gave Chelsea the lead against her former team in Budapest — where both legs were played — with a 27th-minute penalty and four minutes later Sam Kerr effectively put the tie out of the Germans’ reach.

Fran Kirby made it a perfect afternoon for the Blues with nine minutes left, completing an impressive display against last year’s finalists.

“I think it probably ranks as my favourite win in charge,” said Chelsea manager Emma Hayes, who has been Blues boss since 2012.

“I’ve faced that opponent so many times and felt humiliated and lost, and I always thought they were the benchmark for women’s football alongside Lyon.

“It is a really, really proud day for English football… I’ve waited nine years for today.”

City had an uphill task going into their second leg with Barca in Manchester following last week’s 3-0 defeat in the Catalans’ “home” leg played in Monza, Italy.

They got off to an ideal start thanks to Janine Beckie’s 20th-minute opener, the Canada international prodding home after a scramble in the Barca box at a corner.

However Asisat Oshoala, who had already wasted chances to equalise, put the away side level on the night and left City needing to score four to go through.

City got another one through a Samantha Mewis penalty but that was the end of the scoring and Barca will face one of Lyon or Paris Saint-Germain in the semis.

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The all-French clash between the European champions and PSG will be played on 18 April after a wave of Covid-19 cases at Lyon forced the fixture to be postponed.

Lyon lead PSG by a single goal from the first leg at the Parc des Princes as they attempt to claim the top prize in European women’s football for a sixth straight year.

On Thursday, Bayern Munich will aim to protect a 3-0 lead of their own against Rosengard in Malmo, with Chelsea awaiting them in the last four should they succeed as expected.

© – AFP, 2021

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