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Vixens Stun Barcelona

Barcelona 0-1 Bristol Academy
Mini Estadi
Champions League Round of 16, First Leg

Bristol Academy upset the odds as they came away from the first leg of this Champions League tie with a 1-0 away win, ahead of this Thursday's second leg at Ashton Gate.

In front of their home fans, Barcelona came out of the blocks quickly and confidently playing one touch passes around the Bristol Academy midfield and back four. Following a cagey opening 15 minutes where Barcelona dominated possession, a much improved Bristol Academy got into their flow as the 1st half progressed and the players started to relax on the ball. A ball in behind the home side’s defence set Harding on her way into the box, on a tight angle she passed the ball across the goal only for Barcelona’s Ruth to put it into her own net.

The Vixens came under constant pressure from a technically strong Barcelona but kept their structure and discipline. Tonight’s game was the first defeat for Barcelona at home in 55 games, and following all their efforts on goal, the Vixens defence were disciplined and hearty. South West born and bred Jasmine Matthews gave a fantastic performance at centre half, she was calm and composed under pressure and technically sound in defence. Albeit this, tonights performance was indeed a team effort at The Camp Nou Mini Estadi with every player putting a hard shift in for their team mate - a credit to the club and it’s philosophy.

Manager Dave Edmondson was pleased with his sides performance tonight and said: “To come to Barcelona and get a 1-0 win is fantastic and a testament to the work rate and discipline of the players. It is very much half time in the tie and we are well aware that Barcelona will come to Ashton Gate on thursday expecting to overturn the result from tonight.

When asked about Thursday’s home leg, Edmondson responded with: “we have shown we are a pretty resilient bunch and are ready for the challenge.”

Captain Jemma Rose who takes pride in her teams discipline said: “Tonight’s match was a great defensive performance from the girls, we showed a lot of character tonight to keep a clean sheet against a technically strong Barcelona side.”

However Rose admitted the job was only half done. “We take our away goal into the home leg now, and we need our supporters to turn out in numbers and pack the gate on Thursday night.”