UEFA Women's Champions League: Birmingham Ladies beat Arsenal 1-0
Birmingham City Ladies will take a 1-0 lead into the second-leg of their Champions League quarter-final with Arsenal.
Last Updated: 25/03/14 4:22pm
The Blues created a host of chances against their strongly-fancied rivals from London, but they were only able to beat visiting keeper Emma Byrne once, that goal coming from debutant Remi Allen.
Allen, a winter signing from Notts County, had an early chance as the home side started strongly with Melissa Lawley also blasting over the bar after Byrne made a hash of collecting a Chelsea Weston cross.
But Weston was at the heart of what turned out to be Birmingham's only goal on 26 minutes, when she fired over a right-wing cross and Allen struck a looping volley past Byrne.
It was very nearly 2-0 on 36 minutes when Arsenal defender Caroline Weir had to be alive to clear a Kirsty Linnett shot off the line.
Arsenal came out for the second-half a little less flat and came close to an equaliser just before the hour when Blues defender Aoife Mannion produced a superb block to deny Shinobu Ohno's close range effort.
Byrne tipped over an effort from the edge of the box by Linnett as Birmingham continued to press for a second and Linnett set up Lawley for another chance but, just as in the first-half, she fired over the bar.
Casey Stoney's last-ditch header denied Allen the chance for her second but Birmingham were nearly made to rue their wastefulness when Ohno stabbed over the bar with the goal gaping as the clock wound down.
But there would be no more goals, leaving Birmingham to defend their narrow lead in the second-leg at The Hive in Barnet on Sunday - that match kicks off at 2pm.