Robinho ran himself into the ground at Arsenal with a first-half display that seemed geared to hitting back at critics who claim he does not work hard enough for the team. His robust shoulder charge led to the first goal.
Hughes told City's website: "It was shoulder to shoulder but it was given and unfortunately we weren't able to deal with the consequences. We need to be better at that (defending free kicks).
"But Robi put a stint in. It's a hard league, you need everybody giving what they have got. I only took him off because I was worried about losing any more players. With the travelling he's done and the game getting into the latter stages, he could have been opening himself up to injury."