Glasgow City FC
GLASGOW CITY sent out an early warning to the big guns in this year's UEFA Women's Champions League.
The Scottish champions destroyed Serbian counterparts Spartak Jaffa 4-0 at the Gradski Stadium in Subotica and soared to the top of their first round group in the process.
Braces from Christie Murray and Kat Lindner, right, ensured City made light work of their professional opponents and look a safe bet to reach the last 32 of Europe's elite competition.
Head coach Eddie Wolecki Black beamed: "We started the game a little bit shaky if I am honest, but the early goal certainly settled the whole team and after that we dominated possession of the ball and controlled the game.
"It is a great start to the group, three points, four goals, a clean sheet, but we know we have two tough games ahead, so still lots to do.
"We had three players make their Champions League debut today – Emma Woolley, Danica Dalziel and Christie Murray, which is fantastic for them and the club, so lots of positives.
"It is also great for our girls to play in front of such a large, passionate, home support as it adds to their experience of this high level of football." City began the match nervously as they sized-up their east European opponents.
But a strong tackle from Clare Gemmell in midfield after 10 minutes proved the catalyst for the Scottish champions' romp as the City midfielder picked out Jo Love who, in turn, found Christie Murray and the City striker spun before hitting an outstanding right foot shot into the top corner. Jane Ross and Jo Love both tested the keeper from the edge of the box in the opening 20 minutes, before Kat Lindner made it 2-0.
A long ball from Spartak was cut out by Eilish McSorley and found Kat Lindner who took a touch before finishing low past the keeper.
City were on easy street on 27 minutes when brilliant link up between Lindner and Murray saw Murray side foot home at the edge of the six yard box after the striking partnership had ripped the Spartak defence apart.
The two combined again moments later, resulting in a tantalising ball across the face of the goal, which Jane Ross was just inches from converting.
It could have been a lot worse for Spartak, but for some excellent goalkeeping from their number one, to deny Jo Love and Jane Ross in particular. City continued to dominate after the break, with Murray, Eilish McSorley and Rachel Corsie all going close.
Some outstanding play between Jo Love and Emma Mitchell resulted in the latter firing an effort off the post. The keeper denied Murray once more with a fine save, before Spartak had a rare break up field, but shot wide.
With 25 minutes left on the clock, Jane Ross was replaced by Lisa Evans and shortly after coming on, the Scotland international had two efforts just wide of goal as she tried to put her side further ahead.
City made it 4-0 just on the full time whistle as Murray dribbled to the touchline before playing in Lindner who in turn set up sub Woolley.
The City midfielder hit a low shot which saved by the feet of the Spartak keeper, with Lindner collecting the rebound and firing home, past the despairing defenders on the goal line.
Next up for City is Maltese champions Mosta, who went down 1-0 to Klaksvik of the Faroe Islands in their opening group match. City take on Mosta on Saturday at the Gradski Stadium, Subotica, Serbia. Kick off 2pm (GMT).