Manchester City - Real Race Past Gearless City
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Real Racing Club 3 - Manchester City 1

Estadio El Sardinero


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Real Race Past Gearless City

Mark Hughes has made several changes to the side that lost to Everton. Ben-Haim, Schmeichel, Garrido, Fernandes and Evans all start in place of Dunne, Hart, Ball, Kompany and Benjani.

It`s not a must win game, but it would be superb to top Group A, and generate some success and confidence in a team that be at its all time low.

Real Racing Club: Coltorti, Garay, Cesar Navas, Tchite, Colsa, Munitas, O. Serrano, Luccin, Valera, J. Pereira, Marcano.

Subs: Mario, Juanjo, Pinillos, J. Goncalves, Christian, Lacen, Edu Bedia.

City: Schmeichel, Zabaleta, Richards, Ben Haim, Garrido, Hamann, Fernandes, Elano, Vassell, Robinho, Evans.

Subs: Hart, Ball, Onuoha, Ireland, Caicedo, Logan, Kompany.

The home side where always going to make things difficult for City because they were in need of a win to produce some hope of qualifying for the next round. This was evident in the first 12 minutes as they were closing down City quickly and were proven to be a tough side, as two of their players found the ref`s book inside the first quarter.

A confidence building game? Think again. Manchester City fell behind on the 17th minute. Ben-Haim conceded a stupid free-kick, in which Racing took full advantage as they quickly played the free-kick to the left wing. From their Serrano crossed the ball into the grasp of Schmeichel who could not hold it and palmed it straight to the feet of Pereira who fired the ball home.
Racing at this point where on top, and City where playing like they had no clue how to play football. This is not the first time we have seen this. Robinho produced a little sense of excitement for the City fans when his shot from around 20-yards that flew over the crossbar. However it was not long before City found themselves in double the trouble.

Serrano found Pereira again but this time he played the ball back to the winger, who burst through the City defence and placed the ball past Schmeichel. 2-0. Kasper Schmeichel then collided with the scorer of Racing`s first goal. He appeared injured but it was not serious and he was able to continue.

Tchite then tested Kasper`s injury as he connected brilliantly with his shot but it could only find the gloves of the young Dane.

Halftime in Spain: Real Racing Club 2 Manchester City 0

A change at the break: Robinho is replaced by Stephan Ireland.

Any chance of Mark Hughes actually inspiring the side at halftime? Obviously not! Racing win a corner with 12 minutes played in the second half. The corner came in and City failed to clear their line which allows Juan Valera to smash home from close range. This is getting just silly now. Things got worse moments before this when Elano was seen pushing a Racing player, and was booked.

If anyone believes players get paid to much, we have a prime example in this game. The Racing Keeper, Coltorti must be thinking this is the easiest pay cheque of his life.

Surely City can produce something? The hopeless question was pondered as Racing should have made it 4. Tchite rounded the City keeper on the edge of the Box, and as City players struggle to get back, Tchite plays the ball wide. A little bit of luck for City, in a game where 4-0 would be fair and an honest evaluation of the game, which is now over an hour old.
The game pattered out into nothing. I mean this is on par with the recent performances from Hughes`s side. Racing where willing to just sit and play the ball around.

City did however get some joy. Into the last 3 minutes, Manchester City got an undeserved consolation. Caicedo produces a touch of class as he fires the ball into the bottom corner of Racing`s goal.

Fulltime: Real Racing Club 3 Manchester City 1
Aaron`s Conclusion:

Ok, are you honestly telling me, that City fans are happy with this performance. You can blame the players if you want, and they are the ones who play the football, but it`s the Manager who directs and guides them where they should go and how they go about the game. The Owner`s should really think about Mark Hughes and his future, because it`s not just the humiliation we all have to suffer, It`s the fact that Hughes will also be spending around 100 million pounds in January. That in itself is a huge responsibility. I know many people will say the players are to blame, but I ask you this.

How can Ramos with such a high reputation come to Spurs and produce absolute rubbish this season, yet Redknapp can get the same players working and playing to a good standard. Blame the language barrier if you wish, but Hughes has not helped himself tonight.

On a positive we have qualified in top spot, but I would rather our club have done it in fashion, than lose in the way they did tonight.

A better performance is expected on Sunday which is also my Birthday. Hughes please dont ruin my Birthday!

The journalist

Writer: amcollinz Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday December 18 2008

Time: 9:51PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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Really feel for The 950 Blues who travelled there tonight.
Johnny Baguette
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18/12/2008 21:58:00

You are going to cop it again Aaron !
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18/12/2008 22:00:00

Caicedo, Must play against West Bromwich & Congratulations, JB, about qualified Saint-Etienne.
city 81
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18/12/2008 22:27:00

Aaron - I think the reason why Ramos was failing and Redknapp has succeeded is that they had a couple of poor results, and the high expecting fans created a negative spiral that drained the club, and it became worse. Redknapp was just a change and a fresh start and that is why they are doing well. He is no doubt a motivator, but I think it was more the chance for a fresh start that has seen the improvement in their results. The same is true when he went to Portsmouth. I fear if we dont get a few good results soon City will become embroiled in a similar downward spiral where the fans are getting on their back, where the only way of recovering is to sack the manager. I would rather Hughes spent that kind of money than anyone else. Give the man some time. WBA is a huge game but not the be all and end all. Just consider what the players must be feeling after this turbulent 3 months.
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18/12/2008 22:32:00

The feeling of the players is obvious darryl28 they don't want to play for the Manager.
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18/12/2008 22:35:00

That may well be the case alphie. I think its more of the uncertainty surrounding January and them being knackered. Time will tell, but if it is the manager then those inside the club will make the right call, not the fans. If im wrong then great, it should just be a case of getting another top manager in. But I dont think its that simple. Martin O'Neill for example - didnt Villa do crap for a while and now they will be top-4 material within a couple of seasons? With limited finances? Mite be wrong - just putting it out there!
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18/12/2008 22:49:00

i know two english players from the city squad and they said most of the team isnt happy with the new strict regime. city have qualified and thats the main thing, but we need to string some results together. another defeat isnt good preparation for the west brom game. none of the players looked bothered against racing santander, i fear their not putting in the effort to get rid of hughes. hughes performance so far should be enough to cause concern. im not happy with how things are going.
enzo city
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18/12/2008 22:49:00

You can spend 100million pounds all you want in January...but who's going to go to a club who's fighting relegation at the moment? I'm not trying to rile you guys up, cause I don't even have a problem with Citeh, I'm being realistic. You're not going to be signing anyone like Kaka playing the football you are and the position you guys are in. And I hate Mark Hughes and could care less if you sack him, he never takes responsibility for anything and is always quick to point fingers. The only big name signings you are going to get are people who only care about money and those are not the people I'd want playing for my badge.
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19/12/2008 00:47:00

Whatever the reason(s), tonight's non-performance is just not acceptable. On that form I wouldn't fancy our millionaires to beat my local pub team and Hughes was too complacent in his post-match remarks. Now I'm dreading how they might play against West Brom,..... what's that ticking noise?
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19/12/2008 00:52:00

You folks had ambitions to win the CL, right? :D Poor Robinho! 100 million? Who's going to come to a club fighting relegation? Haha.. what a funny situation!
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19/12/2008 03:38:00

Make the most of while you can because when we are up there JT_daniel, I don't suppose you will be back to congratulate us on our latest trophy
Buzz Lightyear
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19/12/2008 07:23:00

We were lucky only to lose 3-1 the central defenders might as well sat on the bench for all they did. TBH has no idea how to tackle, Gelson headless chicken and they kept him on!!!!
Buzz Lightyear
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19/12/2008 07:25:00

we were absolutely crap ......we had no front players.....and YET was pas back...pass back...and hoof it up the field......but hey.....we qualified....and on top of our group......there are 16 other european teams that wish they were in our position right now.....if anyone had asked us if we wanted to come top of our group, but lose away to Santander 3 -1 ....all of us would have taken that...!!! Now lets see what the draw brings us.....
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19/12/2008 08:25:00

Well said lincolnblue! It will be harder and harder for us to progress in the UEFA Cup and the results are actually ALL that matter right now. Get into the last 8 and then the focus will be on that competition. Top of the group was great. That means anyone we buy in January can look forward to some high-profile European games.
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19/12/2008 18:50:00


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