Ten-man English Premiership side Manchester City bowed out of the UEFA Cup on Thursday, falling short against Hamburg, who advanced to an all-German semi-final against Werder Bremen.
City came from behind to win 2-1 on the night, and Elano twice hit the woodwork, but Paolo Guerrero’s opener gave the hosts too much to do after the 3-1 loss in Germany as Hamburg advanced 4-3 on aggregate to delight coach Martin Jol.
“It’s a good experience for our team. To get to the semi-finals of the UEFA cup is fantastic,” he told ITV.
The historical omens had appeared to favour Jol, who while in charge of Spurs won six times in as many attempts facing City and was also unbeaten in four clashes against City’s former Blackburn boss Mark Hughes.
Hughes was sanguine in elimination.
“We produced a performance of real desire and commitment,” he said. “We got our noses in front after a poor start [but] it wasn’t quite enough.”
City ended the match down to ten men after skipper Richard Dunne was dismissed ten minutes from time for a second booking.
“We’re very disappointed. Now we’ve got to concentrate on finishing as high in the league as we can,” said City midfielder Stephen Ireland, as the club make a last-ditch bid to make next season’s revamped Europa League tournament.
Shorn of Craig Bellamy’s attacking guile and the width of Shaun Wright-Phillips, City rallied manfully and claimed the equalizer five minutes after Guerrero had shocked them with Hamburg’s goal on 12 minutes.
Elano netted from the spot after his snapshot struck Piotr Trochowski on the arm.
City came out full of fire after the interval and went in front five minutes after the restart with a neat Felipe Caicedo finish from Ireland’s pass.
Caicedo then ballooned over from point blank range before having an effort chalked off for offside.
But a third goal would not come in a frantic finale as City bowed out.
Aided by a brace from Diego, Bremen drew 3-3 away to Italy’s Udinese, to wrap up a 6-4 win overall while the other semi-final will be an all-Ukrainian affair after Dynamo Kiev swamped a poor Paris Saint Germain 3-0 after a goalless draw in France.
PSG goalkeeper Mickael Landreau handed Kiev victory with glaring errors which led to two of the goals.
With Udinese trailing 3-1 from the first leg they were forced to attack and Swiss star Gokhan Inler put them ahead on 15 minutes.
But Brazilian playmaker Diego, a reported target for Juventus, responded with a sublime equalizer on 28 minutes, turning on the ball before firing into the top corner.
Fabio Quagliarella struck twice within eight minutes to level the tie but Diego then headed home just before the hour mark.
Although Diego then missed out on a hat-trick when Samir Handanovic saved his penalty on 72 minutes Claudio Pizarro poked home from close range to put the result beyond doubt.
“It’s not so easy to be happy when we made things so difficult for ourselves,” said Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf. “We played a lot better in the second half and were much more dangerous in attack.”
Shakhtar Donetsk inflicted more Ukrainian punishment on French opposition as they won 2-1 at Marseille with Brazilian pair Fernandinho Luiz Rosa and Adriano on target for a 4-1 aggregate win.