BBC Radio Manchester Features
Sad to say goodbye: Micah Richards
City in Europe: Farewell to all that
After 16 games, including eight trips to Europe, Manchester City's UEFA Cup adventure ended in the quarter finals against Hamburg. Having followed every kick along the way, Ian Cheeseman looks back at nine months of European fun and football.
Time to say goodbye
It was a heroic failure in the end, with City doing everything they could to try to recover from a 3-1 first leg deficit. Elano hit the bar and a post with his free-kicks and as well as scoring, Caicedo had a goal ruled out for offside and missed a sitter.
The truth is that City were probably not quite good enough this time but can hold their heads up high after gaining huge experience from the exploits during the last nine months.
A sign of the times: It's goodbye to the UEFA Cup
It's been one long adventure for the fans who've been with them all the way. It started last July in the magnificent Faroe Islands, a place I would have never visited without City but was so glad I did.
I'd contemplated a trip there on the now infamous trawler, but thankfully took the plane in the end – as did the intrepid City sailors after they were left stranded in the Shetland Islands.
There was the drama of the penalties in Denmark and Vedran Coruka's winning spot kick, and the heat in Cyprus, where my throat felt like the outside of a cactus and I learnt that Lefkosia was their word for Nicosia.
There was a family visit to Schalke and City's best performance in the tournament; Steve McClaren's utterly bizarre Dutchglish against FC Twente; Christmas trees on the beach in Santander; running in the snow in Copenhagen; fine cuisine and opera in Aalborg, via Edinburgh.
Going bananas: City fans have some pre-match fun
It’s all there in black and white, via the links at the side of this page, and I really believe there’ll be much more of this to come. Surely this was only a taster of the Europa League or Champions League trips in the future as City's adventure grows and grows.
Before the game against Hamburg, the City fans were in high spirits, waving their flags and enjoying their bananas and they almost cheered their team through to the last four - after the game it was the heartbreaking sight of the watching the Hamburg players celebrating, in typical German style, with their travelling supporters.
I hope they go on and win the tournament, they were gracious hosts and dignified in victory.
For now though, it's bye bye to Europe and to my blogs, but hopefully they'll be back before you know it – another July start anyone?
last updated: 17/04/2009 at 10:57