Hughes: City made it hard

20 March 2009 07:22
Mark Hughes admitted Manchester City made hard work of their passage into the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup after requiring penalties to overcome Aalborg. City looked to be coasting into their first European quarter-final for more than 30 years as they preserved their 2-0 first-leg lead until five minutes from the end of Thursday's return leg. But after conceding two goals in a dramatic final last five minutes in Denmark, City then needed two penalty saves from Shay Given to win the ensuing shoot-out 4-3 and edge into Friday's last eight draw to the relief of the manager. "For a good hour I felt we were quite comfortable, very much in control, but I did say before the game that whoever scored the first goal would have a real impact," said Hughes. "We were looking to score first to put the tie to bed but, once Aalborg got a foothold in the game, they put us under pressure. "In the end, we have been able to come through and we'll take the result on penalties, but we should never really have been in that situation. "You scratch your head and wonder how that situation has developed but, if teams put balls in good areas, on occasion things will drop and go their way. "At the end of the day, we are through to the next round and that is what we were trying to achieve. "We would have preferred a more comfortable passage but we have been able to get where we wanted to get."

Source: ESA