04302017

Man City Women reach Champions League semis

Manchester City Women celebrate

Lucy Bronze’s first-half far-post header put Manchester City in control against Fortuna Hjorring

Manchester City Women have become the first English team to reach the last four of the Champions League since 2014 after beating Fortuna Hjorring.

City, the current Women’s Super League champions, beat the Danish side 1-0 in the first leg and doubled that lead through Lucy Bronze’s looping header.

Caroline Rask wasted Fortuna’s best chance, while World Player of the Year Carli Lloyd fired just wide for City.

Man City, in the semi-finals for the first time, face Lyon in the last four.

The current European and French champions completed a 2-1 aggregate victory over Wolfsburg on Wednesday, while the other semi-final will be contested by Barcelona and Paris St-Germain.

The dominant force in English women’s football?

Prior to 2014 Manchester City Women had never lifted a major trophy – but they are now bidding for a potential clean sweep of five different honours in less than nine months.

Having already won the WSL in September and Continental Cup in October, they also reached the FA Cup semi-finals after beating Bristol City in the last eight on Sunday.

They begin their Women’s Super League Spring series campaign – a transitional competition before the WSL’s switch to a winter calendar for 2017-18 – at home to Chelsea in April.

Can Man City go all the way in Europe?

Carli Lloyd<!–

Carli Lloyd joined Manchester City Women on a short-term deal in February

Nick Cushing’s side, appearing in European competition for the first time this season, have beaten 2009 finalists Zvezda and Danish teams Brondby and Fortuna on their way to the last four.

But a much tougher challenge awaits at the semi-final stage, with Lyon having won the competition three times in six years, reaching five of the past seven finals.

The French champions beat Wolfsburg in a repeat of the 2016 final to set up a first-ever competitive meeting with City and are able to call upon some of the world’s best players.

Among them is Lloyd’s United States team-mate Alex Morgan, who has scored 73 times in 123 appearances for her country and in 2015 was the best-paid player in women’s football.

Arsenal Ladies are the only English side to have ever won the European Cup, lifting the 2007 Uefa Women’s Cup, prior to the competition being rebranded as the Champions League.

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