City turn it on for sheikh but fail to break Hamburg

Manchester City 2 Hamburg 1 (Hamburg win 4-3 on aggregate)

"And on the sixth day God created Manchester City". That is what it says on the banner they place on the club's East Stand balcony. It was at eye level from the seat the chairman, Khaldoon al-Mubarak, took up last night but the thoughts which will have consumed him concern the years it might take for mere mortals, even those with millions to spend, to reconstruct this club.

City exited the Uefa Cup with a win and with some great spirit on a night of high emotion which will help preserve the job of Mark Hughes and which provided a tantalising glimpse of what the promised land might one day bring. The City manager spent three hours yesterday afternoon with Mubarak, who did not arrive at the stadium until 3.30pm, and together they mapped out plans for the future. "I'm still here [in a job] and I'm fine," Hughes said. It is felt that the atmosphere in a stadium near its 48,000 capacity has helped Hughes, whose club have done him a favour by ensuring, immediately after victory in the last round again Aalborg, that Mubarak was here to experience the quarter-final atmosphere.

Among the subtleties lost on Mubarak, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan's personal representative, is that the individual who did most to stoke up the noise is one so far removed from Hughes' chosen few. The Brazilian Elano is an awkward individual who only played because of Shaun Wright-Phillips' unavailability but his performance - singled out as "outstanding" by Hughes - shows that those who do not always play things the manager's way can sometimes do the job. While Stephen Ireland, the individual who has railed against others' lack of effort last week, was curiously muted amid the cacophony of noise, Elano was busily thumping a free-kick which reverberated against the Hamburg bar and cracking another against the outside of the post.

After the disquiet caused by Fulham's 3-1 win on Sunday, the only boos directed at Hughes last night came when he pulled him from the field five minutes before time. The manager was careful to applaud a player adored by Eastlands, if not by him. It was a good night for the Brazilians all round; Robinho worked well with his compatriot to prove himself a little more worthy of that £160,000 a week, too.

A 15-minute spell after the interval might be the one which does most to help Hughes live to fight another day. City were behind after 12 minutes when Richard Dunne failed to cope with the low cross which the Peruvian Paolo Guerrero stabbed into the net ahead of Vincent Kompany but level from an Elano penalty five minutes later when Piotr Trochowski was adjudged to have handled the Brazilian's free-kick when it actually hit his shoulder. After that they simply refused to allow their season to vanish.

What sound and fury issued from Hughes' side in that period. Felipe Caicedo, another player you probably would not lay any of your £100m on in a game of fantasy football, popped up as he has intermittently since Christmas to drag an Ireland pass past Jerome Boateng and thump it in with his right boot. But he also directed a low Elano corner which evaded the visitors' entire defence over the bar with the net yawning. When the Ecuadorian striker finally put the ball in - latching onto another beautiful pass from Elano - he was adjudged offside, as he was 10 times last night.

Even Rome wasn't built in 10 days, though Hughes captured his side's spirit afterwards. "We will take encouragement from this performance," he said. "We needed to make a statement, to come out and show there are things happening here. We are at the beginning of a long journey."

But the cold reality is that, for all the £100m thrown at it, City's season is over in mid-April and the Abu Dhabis face a long, hard summer persuading big names to join a club without so much as Europa League football next season in all likelihood. "The significance of Europe isn't as great as people are making out," Hughes insisted. Perhaps the significance of the big names isn't either.

Martin Jol, whose side progress to an all-German semi-final with Werder Bremen and a possible domestic league and cup double, rejoiced at having won "at a club who've spent £30m on two of our players" [Vincent Kompany and Nigel de Jong] and Hughes' priority is to build a team of earthy footballing qualities like his. For starters, he needs a captain who does not get sent off four times in a year - Dunne's two yellows, the second for barging over substitute Mladen Petric, were justified. There were two gilt-edged chances for City after Dunne's departure - Micah Richards ballooning one over - but it was not to be. Six days? This job will take many, many months.

Manchester City (4-2-3-1): Given; Richards, Dunne, Onuoha, Bridge; Zabaleta (Fernandes, 77), Kompany; Elano (Sturridge, 85), Ireland, Robinho; Caicedo. Substitutes not used: Hart (gk), Garrido, Petrov, Evans, Logan.

Hamburg (4-4-2): Rost; Boateng, Gravgaard, Mathijsen, Jansen; Trochowski (Petric, 73), Jarolim, Aogo, Pitroipa; Olic, Guerrero. Substitutes not used: Hesl (gk), Silva, Ndjeng, Rincon, Schulz, Torun.

Referee: N Rizzoli (Italy).

* German and Ukrainian teams make up the last four in the Uefa Cup, with Werder Bremen facing Hamburg in the semi-finals, while Dynamo Kiev and Shakhtar Donetsk both went through to set up another domestic showdown. The Brazilian playmaker Diego scored twice, as he did in the quarter-final first leg, to help Werder draw 3-3 with Udinese in Italy to record a 6-4 aggregate victory.

News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
Arts and Entertainment
Worldwide ticket sales for The Lion King musical surpassed $6.2bn ($3.8bn) this summer
tvMusical is biggest grossing show or film in history
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Life and Style
food + drink
News
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
News
A cabin crew member photographed the devastation after one flight
news
Life and Style
Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
Life and Style
The Google Doodle celebrating the start of the first day of autumn, 2014.
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits