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Hughes accepts red card

06 Oct 2008 - 09:55:39

Manchester City manager Mark Hughes had no complaints about Pablo Zabaleta's red card as his side slumped to a dramatic 3-2 home defeat to Liverpool despite leading 2-0 at one stage.

Zabaleta was sent off with 24 minutes left for his crude challenge on Xabi Alonso and Hughes admitted after watching a replay of the incident that it was the correct decision.

"I often look for the response from the opposition, and with this there weren't crowds of players around the referee," he said.

"Pablo clearly played the ball, but made contact with Alonso's standing leg. Alonso was not hurt by the challenge, he rode it well but I can see why the referee gave it.

"We should not dwell on the negatives though, we need to look at the positive aspects of what we are trying to do. We are really good to watch, but we understand we have frailties - and come January we will try to address them.

"We were in great shape at half-time, I thought we played some of the best stuff we have done so far this season. We caused a very good Liverpool side some problems, but going in two goals up you expect a response from a top-four side like them.

"The disappointing thing was that we had talked about that at half-time, and to allow them back so early was a disappointment.

"We were still very much in it at 2-1, but the sending-off changed the game from our point of view. The extra man was always going to make it difficult, we had to hang in but we could not keep them out."


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