The Women’s Champions League qualifying rounds were played on Sunday night, and Real Madrid eliminated Manchester City for the second year in a row.
Real defeated Sturm Graz and City dispatched Tomiris-Turan with ease in their respective semi-final matches in the mini-tournament in Madrid, one of 15 at this phase of the competition.
The game, however, was considerably closer, and Real won on a goal from Scottish midfielder Caroline Weir, who had previously played for City but had decided to leave at the season’s end to join Real.
In the 15th minute, Weir scored the game-winning goal after making a brilliant turn in the penalty box, using her body to protect the ball before blasting home.
City has no more chances in Europe and must now concentrate on the domestic league. While this is happening, Real have advanced to the final round of qualifying, when 24 clubs will compete for 12 spots in the group stage.
Other European teams, like Juventus, Roma, Ajax, and Rangers, have also advanced through this round.
Teams like Arsenal, PSG, and Bayern Munich will have to enter the qualifying bracket, while Lyon, Wolfsburg, Barcelona, and Chelsea have already secured their spots in the group stage.
From 2016–2021, City participated in the Champions League for five straight years, twice advancing to the semifinals (in 2016–17 and 2017–18) and once to the quarterfinals (in 2020–21). However, it’s disappointing to have two consecutive years where you don’t make it to the main tournament.
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