Friday, 10 April 2009

HSV reax

Daniel Taylor, The Guardian

The biggest disappointment for Hughes was the manner in which his players could not take advantage of scoring so early. A more experienced side would have slowed down the game and quietened the crowd. It needed composure, a sense of authority. Yet by the time Mathijsen headed in a ninth-minute corner Given's goal was under siege. This was to be the theme of an evening in which Robinho, once again, drifted out of the game and seemed almost uninterested at times.

Tim Rich, The Independent

In contrast to the way they began, Manchester City ended the night in something close to disarray. Craig Bellamy suffered a recurrence of a knee injury that might keep him out for the remains of the season. On as one of three substitutes, Benjani Mwaruwari, returning from a four-month absence, ruptured his thigh, forcing City to finish the match with 10 men. Wayne Bridge and Shaun Wright-Phillips suffered less serious injuries while Pablo Zabaleta is suspended for the second leg. It was not a complete mess, but it was close.

Ian Ladyman, The Daily Mail

It was a victory Hamburg thoroughly deserved. This was not the worst City away display of the season but they remain brittle at the back at times.

Despite the contribution of the excellent Ireland and a captain’s performance from
Richard Dunne, City goalkeeper Shay Given was their best player after making half-a-dozen impressive saves.

Kaveh Solhekol, The Times

In Richards and Wayne Bridge, City are supposed to have two of the most dependable full backs in the Premier League, but the England defenders struggled to get to grips with Hamburg’s two wide players, Trochowski and Jonathan Pitroipa. Bridge did not make it out for the second half after aggravating a hamstring injury and Richards endured a second half to forget as he was run ragged by Hamburg’s rampaging forwards.

Rory Smith, Telegraph

As it is, the Welshman [Mark Hughes] knows his side need to produce possibly the performance of their season to stay in the competition, which still represents their best chance of enjoying European football next year. Manchester's home as European capital of trophies looks uncertain.

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