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Fri 10 Apr 2009 09:54 AM

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Man City facing exit after UEFA Cup defeat

Manager Mark Hughes remains upbeat despite 3-1 first leg loss to Germany's Hamburg.

Abu Dhabi-owned Premier League side Manchester City were left clinging onto European survival after slumping to a 3-1 first leg defeat against Hamburg.In front of 57,000 fans at the HSH Nordbank Arena, Stephen Ireland put Manchester City in front after just 35 seconds, only for defender Joris Mathijsen to equalise shortly afterwards in the quarter final clash.

City goalkeeper Shay Given kept his side in the game with some magnificent saves, but a handball by Micah Richards allowed Piotr Trochowski to stroke his side in front from the penalty spot.

Jose Paolo Guerrero struck late on to put his side firmly in the driving seat prior to the return leg on April 16.

"Losing 3-1 has made things difficult, but we are not out of it," said City boss Mark Hughes on his side's UEFA Cup prospects.

"We had a lot of injuries before the match, but we showed we can cause them problems in their defence. This is far from finished."

Hamburg coach Martin Jol, who knows all about English football after his time at the Spurs' helm, warned against complacency in the second leg.

"We have three goals, we could have had four so we cannot take the return leg lightly," he said. "I know from experience that things can change very quickly in England."

Hamburg's Bundesliga rivals Werder Bremen were also casting an eye on the semi-finals after seeing off Udinese of Italy 3-1 at home.

Ukraine came out on top in their double-edged duel with France as Shakhtar Donetsk beat former European champions Marseille 2-0 at home while Dynamo Kiev grabbed a precious 0-0 away draw against Paris Saint Germain.

Werder Bremen were indebted to two of their foreign imports for their 3-1 victory over Udinese.

Brazilian playmaker Diego made the breakthrough in the 34th minute before he added a second in the 67th.

Portuguese striker Hugo Almeida made it 3-0 two minutes later before Fabio Quagliarella pulled one back in the dying moments to give Italy's only remaining side in European competition this season an outside hope in the return leg.

Goals from Tomas Hubschman and Brazilian Jadson put Shakhtar in control of their tie with Marseille and within touching distance of a first ever European semi-final.

The damage could have been more serious for Marseille had goalkeeper Steve Mandanda not pulled off some fine saves while Shakhtar's joy was tempered late on when defender Mykola Ischenko was yellow-carded and ruled out of the second leg.

"This was a very important victory," said Shakhtar coach Mirce Lucescu. "We showed maturity but we know it will still be difficult in the return because Marseille are a formidable team who play big matches every weekend."

In the French capital, PSG dominated but were unable to break down a well-organised Kiev defence.

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