Robinho set for City exit
Robinho struck what is likely to prove his farewell goal in English football in Manchester City's 4-2 success at Scunthorpe in the fourth round of the FA Cup, and seems to be heading back to Brazil whether Roberto Mancini likes it or not. The Italian was predictably coy when grilled after his side's Glanford Park win over the future of the £32.5m man, who told a Brazilian radio station he is leaving on a loan move to Santos.
"Hopefully in the end Robinho will stay here," said Mancini. "In the next day the situation can change, but at the moment he stays here and I am very happy for him."
However, Mancini added tellingly: "I think one player can stay in a squad only if he is happy, if he wants to play every game and if he wants to work every day. That is most important because the players and manager must be happy."
Earlier, Robinho had told Brazilian radio station Radio Bandeirantes: "What's important is to be happy. The directors all agree that it's better to send me out on loan. It would be exceptional to return to Santos."
Robinho scored the goal which finally put paid to the Championship side's challenge when he lofted home City's fourth in the 85th minute, after a square pass from man of the match Martin Petrov. But in a performance which summed up his City career, the Brazilian was a passenger for long periods, his only previous intervention of note the flurry of step-overs which led to him setting up Petrov's third-minute opener.
City looked like they might enjoy an easy afternoon at that point, but Scunthorpe stormed back with Cliff Byrne hitting the post before Paul Hayes hit home a richly deserved 29th-minute equaliser.
Despite Nedum Onuoha's goal on the stroke of half-time, which was followed by a blistering 35-yard strike by Sylvinho on the hour, the home side were still not finished and struck back through captain Byrne's close-range effort in the 69th minute.
Robinho calmed nerves and led Mancini to express hope for his side's FA Cup run. But he warned: "The FA Cup is very difficult. Every game will be hard and the next game against Stoke will be a difficult game."
Scunthorpe manager Nigel Adkins described City's counter-attacking quality as "like the Red Arrows" but added: "I'm pleased for the players who have worked hard and made it an entertaining cup tie.
"We all had a belief that there was a giant-killing in the offing but it just wasn't to be. We got off to a bad start but credit to the players they didn't buckle. They came out in the second half and gave it a right good go."