Man City target domestic success after Women's Champions League exit

Real Madrid players celebrate their opener at Manchester City
Real Madrid will take their place in the Women’s Champions League group stage after beating Manchester City

Manchester City boss Gareth Taylor says his side’s failure to reach the Women’s Champions League group stage will “fuel” their desire for domestic success this season.

City were beaten 2-1 on aggregate by Real Madrid in the second round of qualifying after a 1-0 home defeat on Wednesday.

It was a disappointing outcome for City, who reached the quarter-finals of the competition last season.

However, Taylor says it will make them more determined to win domestic trophies instead.

“We hoped to be in this competition and felt we did enough to be in it, but we were put into a tough qualification process,” he said.

“Now we face not being in Europe so we have to focus on the domestic competitions for sure.

“We need to use it as fuel for the rest of the season. We’re in a situation where we’re looking at domestic competitions and need to make sure we perform well in those.”

Real grabbed the decisive goal in the second leg when Claudia Zornoza drove in a shot on the stroke of half time.

It was a little harsh on the hosts, who had been the better side until then.

Hayley Raso went closest to equalising in the second half, but her powerful strike hit the crossbar.

Moments earlier, City also had a great chance when a mistake in defence was pounced upon by substitute Ellen White, but her pass was just out of Caroline Weir’s reach with an open goal in front of her.

Supporters had turned out in good numbers on a warm evening at the Academy Stadium in Manchester, hoping to see some history being made.

The competition had undergone a revamp this season with a 16-team group stage for the first time and City were hoping to ensure they were one of the sides that would qualify for it.

But despite dominating possession Gareth Taylor’s side could not find a breakthrough as they failed to work the opposition goalkeeper enough, finishing the game with just a single shot on target.

They tried everything they could in the closing stages and White also had a header hacked off the line, but Real Madrid’s defence held firm to ensure the Spanish side progressed to the group stage.

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