Manchester City gave their all against Hamburg on Thursday night, but it was not enough as they crashed out of the Uefa Cup 4-3 on aggregate.
A 2-1 victory at the City of Manchester Stadium was not enough after the 3-1 defeat in Germany, meaning Martin Jol’s side progress to the last four.
City got off to the worst possible start, falling behind after only 12 minutes. A low cross from the right was not dealt with by the home defense and Paolo Guerrero capitalized.
The number nine reacted quickly when Vincent Kompany slipped, and he confidently placed the ball beyond Shay Given.
Despite going behind, City did not let it affect them and, just five minutes later, they were back in with a chance. Elano picked up the ball outside the Hamburg box before unleashing a hopeful shot.
Piotr Trochowski turned his back on the ball before it appeared to hit his hand. The Germany international did not seem to know a lot about it and could count himself unlucky to see the referee point to the spot.
But up stepped Elano to place the ball beyond Frank Rost to give his side a fortuitous equalizer.
The home fans were brought to life by the goal and were getting right behind their team and Felipe Caicedo could have made it 2-1 with ten minutes remaining of the first half.
Robinho received the ball on the left wing before finding the young striker in the six-yard box, but Rost managed to block the point-blank effort.
The boys from Brazil were looking good for City and, after Robinho won a free-kick 30 yards from goal, Elano thumped the bar with a stunning attempt that had Rost beaten.
Manchester City only had to wait five minutes after the break before getting the goal that dragged them back into contention.
Marcel Jansen blocked the through-ball, but simply diverted it into the path of Stephen Ireland.
The City midfielder found Caicedo just inside the box, and the Ecuadorian danced past Jerome Boateng before sliding the ball into the bottom corner.
The men in light blue were seriously threatening the visitors, with Elano going inches away from leveling the tie on aggregate when his superb free-kick smashed off the post.
Hamburg cleared away the danger, but from the resulting corner Caicedo should have scored when he somehow put the ball over the bar from five yards out.
Martin Jol’s side were on the ropes until Richard Dunne was sent-off in the 75th minute to turn City’s uphill task into something on a par with climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
The Ireland defender was booked in the first half for tripping Ivica Olic before body-checking Mladen Petric on the left-wing when the ball was going out for a goal-kick.
Guerrero and Olic both went close for the Bundesliga side before a late rally from City almost snatched the goal to take the tie into extra-time.
Richards and Daniel Sturridge both had opportunities, but neither could breach the away team’s goal, meaning that it is Hamburg that progress to face Werder Bremen in the semi finals.