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Real Madrid knock Man City out of Women’s Champions League qualifying

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Real Madrid knocked Manchester City out of the Women’s Champions League in the qualifying rounds for the second year in a row on Sunday night.

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Both teams had blitzed their semi-final in the mini-tournament in Madrid – one of 15 at this stage of the competition – with Real seeing off Sturm Graz and City breezing past Tomiris-Turan.

But the final was a much closer affair and it came down to a single goal from Scottish midfielder Caroline Weir, who opted to leave City at the end of last season and joined Real in the summer.

Weir cleverly turned in the penalty area, using her body to shield the ball, before firing home what proved to be the decisive goal in the 15th minute.

There is no second chance in Europe for City, whose sole focus this season now has to be on domestic football. Real, meanwhile, have progressed to the final round of qualifying that sees 24 clubs battle for the remaining 12 places in the group stage.

Los Blancos are joined in getting though this round by Juventus, Roma, Ajax and Rangers, among others from across Europe.

Only Lyon, Wolfsburg, Barcelona and Chelsea automatically qualified for the group stage, while the likes of Arsenal, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich will now enter the qualifying bracket.

City played in the Champions League for five consecutive seasons from 2016 to 2021, reaching the semi-finals in both 2016/17 and 2017/18 and the quarter-finals in their most recent adventure in 2020/21. But failure to reach the main competition two years in a row is a major blow.

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