Glasgow City 1-2 Servette (2-3 agg): Where it went wrong for Scottish champions

A tactical look at the game at Broadwood, what now for Glasgow City, and post-match reaction

Daina Bourma savoured “revenge” as the ex-Rangers winger starred in Servette’s 2-1 win over Glasgow City that knocked Grant Scott’s side out of the Women’s Champions League in the second qualifying round.

With the sides level at 1-1 from last week’s first leg in Switzerland, Priscilla Chinchilla fired City in front after 14 minutes at Broadwood.

Clare Shine was lucky to escape with just a yellow card for a high challenge on Thais Hurni, but their luck run out as Servette struck either side of half-time through a Jade Boho Sayo indirect free-kick and a Sandy Maendly header.

And the Scottish champions fell short of the group stage for this season, with a long-range effort from Megan Foley off the crossbar the closest they came to an equaliser.

“It’s revenge,” joked Bourma, when asked if it made up for City beating Rangers to the SWPL title last season.

“But I’m with Servette now and I’m really happy with what we did.”

City’s tactics leave defence exposed

Versatility has been a consistent theme in the early stages of Glasgow City’s season, and it seems that whatever combination takes the field on any given day, the likes of Shine, Chinchilla, Ode Fulutudilu and Lauren Davidson will rotate around the front three spots throughout the match.

It was also interesting to see City move Niamh Farrelly into a much more advanced role initially, using her as an aerial target and allowing the central striker the freedom to make runs in behind the Servette defence in the first half.

These two factors combined for the creation of the opening goal for City, as goalkeeper Lee Alexander found Farrelly in space. She then lifted over the centre backs for Chinchilla, now playing through the middle of the park, to use her electric pace to run through and finish.

The downside of playing such an attack-minded front three reared its head throughout the game, though. Fulutudilu was primarily playing on the left of the front three, but she struggled with the defensive side of the role which left Agata Filipa exposed and outnumbered on many occasions, including for the second goal.

Another deciding factor in the game was the movement of Marta Peiro Gimenez up front for Servette. She consistently dragged the centre backs out into the wide areas, creating space for her teammates in the penalty area which was exploited for both goals for the visitors.

Anyone’s Game player of the match

Priscila Chinchilla looked dangerous every time she got on the ball, but it was the play of Servette’s right winger Jade Boho Sayo which made the difference here and she took her goal well from the indirect free kick. She caused chaos with her pace and physicality down the Servette right hand side, giving Agata Filipa and Julia Molin serious problems throughout the 90 minutes.

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European dream over

The draw for the new look group stage will take place on Monday, and it will be desperately disappointing to have no Scottish involvement after City and Celtic both had their hopes ended in the qualifiers.

When the tournament set-up was unveiled, the fears were that Scottish clubs would have a mountain to climb to reach the group stage. Celtic’s list of possible opponents made them huge underdogs whoever they faced, and so it proved against Spain’s Levante despite a battling performance from Fran Alonso’s side in Trondheim.

City’s run to the final was a lot less daunting though, and City have beaten better sides than Servette in this competition, so it will be hugely frustrating to have missed out on a guaranteed €400,000 that would have come from being in the last 16.

It is clear, though, that even finishing second in the SWPL offers little hope of going far in the competition due to the names that will be stood in their way, and if City or any other club are to have realistic ambitions of going further than the qualifiers then winning the title appears the only way to do it.

That battle to top the Scottish league started last week, and will be ramped up on Sunday when Celtic host City.

‘Tough one to take’

Glasgow City interim head coach Grant Scott: “I think we’ve made a couple of mistakes that they didn’t make at the back today. If you look at the two goals, I’m not sure if it’s a foul on Janine (Van Wyk) out on the flank but individually, could we maybe just clear that? Janine’s had a great game but maybe at that point we do something different the next time. But they execute and take the chance and then you’re 2-1 down and it’s a tough one to take.”

Servette winger Daina Bourma: “It was a great performance from the team and we’re buzzing. We’re so excited and we can’t wait to get to the group and play with the best teams in Europe.”

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