My personal blog on Scottish Women's Football
Despite a strong and brave defensive performance, Glasgow lost their UEFA Women’s Champions League Quarter-Final First leg tie against Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) 2-0. The quality of their French opponents was there to be seen, but they were met by a solid and organised City defence. However, the two times they unlocked the Glasgow club’s defence, they scored. PSG opened the scoring in the 19th minute, when Laure Boulleau’s low cross picked out Anissa Lahmari whom slid home. Their second goal came in the 53rd minute when a clever corner move was converted by Kheira Hamraoui’s finish.
Although they lost the home leg, there was enough shown from Glasgow City to give them hope they can overturn their deficit in Paris.
PSG created the game’s first chance after 6 minutes, when City’s Jo Love was robbed of the ball by Marie-Laure Delie whose 25 yard curling effort only just went over the crossbar. Seconds later, Kenza Dali’s shot was saved by City’s keeper Lee Alexander.
The French side were controlling the possession but were being closed down by City who were pressuring them in the middle of the park. This tactic nearly paid off, when Hamraoui was robbed of possession by Denise O’Sullivan, but a lucky deflection saved the French side.
When PSG got into the final third, they were met by a brave and determined City defence. Dali had her shot blocked by Emma Black, before the ball was worked back to Dali, but yet again here shot was blocked.
But then PSG took the lead. Laure Boulleau beat Black to break into the City box, and she crossed the ball across the box and despite Rhonda Jones’ sliding block, Anissa Lahmari was there to score.
They could have doubled their lead a minute later. Aurélie Kaci’s right-wing cross picked out Delie and her volley was only kept out by Alexander’s magnificent save. Then Kaci flicked on a corner towards Sabrina Delannoy, but the PSG’s captain shot over.
Glasgow City created their best chance of the game in the 23rd minute. Kerry Montgomery stole the ball off Kosovare Asllani, before playing O’Sullivan running through at the PSG defence, but her shot was a simple save for Katarzyna Kiedrzynek – although passing to Fiona Brown would have been the better option as she was probably in the better position to threaten the keeper.
PSG were proving dangerous from corners. Dali’s corner found itself to Boulleau, but her shot was blocked behind by Black. From the resulting corner, Kaci headed wide despite being good position, probably put off by strong City defending.
Glasgow City started the second half strongly with Black breaking down the right-wing towards the by-line, but her cross was saved at the near post. Minutes later, Hayley Lauder crossed from the left-wing but there were no City players in the box, and it was claimed by the keeper.
And then PSG doubled their lead. They brought out another corner routine, this time Dali passing to the edge of the box where Hamroui was waiting, and she took her time before shooting into the top left corner.
Minutes later, Asllani cut off the left-wing and broke into the box at the byline but she seemed unsure what to do and was denied by a brave save from Alexander at the near post. Then Delie stole the ball from Montgomery in a dangerous area, but her chipped shot was well blocked by City’s defender Jones.
Glasgow were showing moments of brilliance, but often the final product was missing. For example, a good passing move eventually saw Lauder try to play Brown into the box but her pass was just overhit.
City’s head coach Eddie Wolecki Black made a triple substituion: bringing on Suzanne Lappin, Abbi Grant and Susan Fairlie for Kerry Montgomery, Hayley Lauder and Leanne Ross.
But PSG kept on attacking. Anissa Lahmari’s pass played Delie behind the City back four, with a one-on-one with Alexander – the PSG striker tried to take the ball past the keeper, but Alexander reacted to claim the ball.
When City attacked, they often seemed unsure what the final product should be. Abbi Grant got down the left, but her shot/cross was blocked on the corner of the box by Laura Georges.
Lahmari’s left-wing cross picked out Asllani, but her shot was bravely blocked by Jones who put her body on the line, stopping the shot with her head.
Glasgow won their first corner of the match after some determined play down the right from Susan Fairlie. But Black’s delivery turned out to be a catalyst for a PSG counter attack through Jessica Houara, but City recovered in time to eventually snuff out the danger.
The second leg takes place in Paris on Saturday 28th March 2015 with a 6pm kick-off, and is live on BBC Alba.
Glasgow City: Lee Alexander, Emma Black, Rhonda Jones, Cheryl McCulloch, Nicola Docherty, Jo Love, Kerry Montgomery (Suzanne Lappin 70), Leanne Ross (Susan Fairlie 70), Denise O’Sullivan, Hayley Lauder (Abbi Grant 70), Fiona Brown.
Subs not Used: Lauren McMurchie, Georgie Rafferty, Megan Cunningham (GK).
Booked: Nicola Docherty.
PSG: Katarzyna Kiedrzynek, Sabrina Delannoy, Laura Georges, Laure Boulleau, Kheira Hamraoui, Jessica Houara, Kosovare Asllani (Linda Bresonik 89), Kenza Dali (Caroline Seger 90+2), Anissa Lahmari (Annike Krahn 83), Aurélie Kaci, Marie-Laure Delie.
Subs not Used: Fatmire Alushi, Perle Morroni, Grace Geyoro, Karima Benameur (GK)
Goals: Anissa Lahmari 19, Kheira Hamraoui 53.