Manchester City Women cruised into the second round of the UEFA Women’s Champions League after a 3-0 victory at the Academy Stadium winning 6-0 on aggregate over Austrian Champions SKN St Polten.
It was the home side who created the first chance of the game inside one minute as Steph Houghton latched onto a whipped in freekick directing her effort just over the crossbar from point blank range.
City were awarded a penalty inside five minutes as SKN St Polten defender Gina Babicky played a back pass to her keeper however Jane Ross intercepted the loose pass resulting in her being brought down by visiting keeper Jasmin Boisits.
It was Ross who took full responsibility in taking it but her effort lacked power as she saw her effort saved comfortably by Boisits low to her left.
Nick Cushing’s side were in a dominate mood inside the opening 15 minutes and they should have been ahead as Nikita Parris weaved her way around the challenges before her effort sailed just wide of the upright.
St Polten were nearly gifted a goal on 30 minutes as a lapse in concentration by Scottish international Jennifer Beattie nearly played Viktoria Pinther through on goal but she was rescued by young keeper Ellie Roebuck on her home Champions League debut as she raced off her line to clear the danger.
However, two minutes later the home side should have been ahead as Ross was played in one on one with the keeper but she was denied by a superb reaction save from point blank range by the impressive Boisits.
From the resulting corner City did take the lead as Parris stayed composed to fire the ball into the roof of the net a day after she was called up to the England squad who will face France at the end of the month in an international friendly.
After a succession of corners Cushing’s side doubled their lead on 44 minutes as St Polten could only half clear an in-swinging corner from the right Abbie McManus picked up the loose ball before playing the ball to Jill Scott who curled in a stunning effort from 25 yards out into the top corner.
City started the second half on top as on 51 minutes Izzy Christiansen played fizzed in a cross from the right but Parris headed her effort into the side netting at the back post.
Cushing’s will have been very pleased at what he was saw from his side and they could have added a third on 61 minutes as Houghton got on the end of a whipped in freekick from the right but she flicked her header just wide of the upright.
As the tempo of the game slowed down with the Blues in cruise control City were inches away from a third as Houghton fizzed a freekick just over the bar from 30 yards out.
As time was running out and City added a third as substitute Melissa Lawley fired home from close range via the underside of the crossbar after Ross had chested the ball into her path to complete the scoring following a long Megan Campbell throw in.M