After ten minutes of this last 16 clash CIty could have been four goals to the good. As it was they had to settle just for two.
On two minutes the impressive Chloe Kelly crossed for the unmarked Lauren Hemp to head the opener. With four minutes on the clock Hemp turned provider for Ellen White to convert at the near post.
Chances then fell Caroline Weir, Kelly and White but somehow Fiorentina desperately held out and whilst City continued to dominate for the rest of the half the Italians regrouped and kept the home side at bay.
Hemp should have made it three from close range but Katja Schroffenegger saved well as City were restricted to half chances.
The visitor's attacking ambitions were limited to one corner and a free kick in a dangerous position just before the break. Fiorentina clearly would be looking to defend and by the end of the opening first 45 minutes they had settled to frustrate City who needed a third goal at least for the return leg.
And City almost paid the price for missed chances at the beginning of the second half as Frederikke Thorgersen raced clear and blasted over.
The hosts were now labouring to break down a determined Fiorentina rearguard and the fluency of the first half had deserted City.
On the hour City made a triple substitution as they tried to get back into the game with Fiorentina now committing two forwards upfield as they sensed a possible away goal.
But still City struggled to recapture their earlier form as the Italians impressed with their resilience after that poor start.
Then with the home side running out of ideas and Fiorentina growing in confidence City got that vital third goal for the second leg next Thursday.
With just a minute remaining Kelly crossed for substitute Sam Mewis to head home at the far post.
Man City: 3 (Hemp 2, White 4, Mewis 89)
Fiorentina : 0
Att: Behind closed doors
Venue: Academy Stadium
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