Date: 18th December 2008 at 9:51pm
Written by:

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!


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