City's stuttering progress jarred by Robinho injury

Racing Santander 3 Manchester City 1
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The Independent Football

Robinho is doubtful for Manchester City's Premier League game against West Bromwich Albion on Sunday after the Brazilian striker suffered a recurrence of an ankle injury in last night's Uefa Cup defeat by Racing Santander. Robinho made a surprise start for City but played only 45 minutes as he was struggling with the problem.

"Robinho was not able to continue so he is a big doubt for the weekend," said Mark Hughes, City's manager. "It it his ankle again. We are staying here overnight so we will check everyone in the morning. In the last three games he has been struggling with an injury and that was a concern to him tonight."

Even though City's campaign in the group stages ended in disappointment, they still advance to the knockout stages in top spot. That means they will face a third-placed side in one of the other groups when the draw for the last 32 is made today.

Goals from Jonathan Pereira and Oscar Serrano put Santander in the driving seat before half-time. Juan Valera extended their lead before Felipe Caicedo scored a late consolation goal for City after stepping off the bench.

Hughes, who made wholesale changes to his side, said: "Ideally we would have preferred to have won the game but credit to Racing, they are a good team. Their motivation was to try and get into the next round. We had already qualified so that might have taken a little bit of edge out of our game. We made changes as we wanted to give the likes of Shaun Wright-Phillips, Stephen Ireland and Vincent Kompany a little bit of a rest. I think that was important given the number of games coming up. They are key players for us.

"In the second half we just needed to steady ourselves and we did that. We have to take the positives out of the game. We have topped the group and that was the order of the day. We are grateful for that."

Racing Santander: Coltorti, Valera, Garay, Cesar Navas, Marcano, Munitis, Colsa (Lacen, 77), Luccin, Oscar Serrano, Tchite, Jonathan Pereira (Juanjo, 83). Substitutes not used: Mario, Goncalves, Pinillos, Christian, Bedia.

Manchester City: Schmeichel, Zabaleta, Richards, Ben-Haim, Garrido, Hamann, Fernandes, Vassell, Elano (Kompany, 60), Robinho (Ireland, h-t), Evans (Caicedo, 75). Substitutes not used: Hart, Onuoha, Ball, Logan.

Referee: S Gumienny (Belgium).