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Racing Santander 3 City 1

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Racing Santander 3 Manchester City 1

Thursday December 18, 2008, 8.45pm

Estadio El Sardinero - Att: 18,360

Not a night that will have remembered as one of our finest nights, and a perfect illustration perhaps of why so many people denigrate this competition - and in particular the group stages of the tournament.

Despite talk of going all out to top the group, Mark Hughes opted to rest the trio of Wright-Phillips, Kompany and Ireland (although Ireland was introduced for Robinho at half-time) who have been our most overworked players this season, and to be honest in need of a rest.

It was perhaps a calculated gamble in that FC Twente were in a similar position to us in that they had already qualified and going up against a PSG side who needed a win to stand a chance of qualification.

And so it proved with PSG winning 4-0, with Racing Santander missing out on qualification along with Schalke 04 - the team I initially predicted to top the group.

Whilst it was objective achieved, you do wonder what effect another defeat and lacklustre performance will have on the confidence of a side who are struggling, and it was a game where few (if any) positives can be drawn from it - although Caciedo getting on the scoresheet may have been a slight nudge that could see him receive more playing time.

UEFA Cup : Final Group A Table

1 Man City 4 2 1 1 6 5 1 7
2 FC Twente 4 2 0 2 5 8 -3 6
3 PSG 4 1 2 1 7 5 2 5
4 Racing Santander 4 1 2 1 6 5 1 5
5 Schalke 04 4 1 1 2 5 6 -1 4