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Sevilla 1-2 Bayern: Ribery inspires win

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Franck Ribery played a part in two away goals as Bayern Munich took a 2-1 first leg lead from Sevilla in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals on Tuesday.

Pablo Sarabia scored the lone Sevilla goal, and the second leg is April 11 at the Allianz Arena.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Minutes after hitting an open chance off the bar, Sarabia took advantage of poor positioning from countryman Juan Bernat to belt a ball past Bayern backup keeper Sven Ulreich and Sevilla into the lead after the half hour mark.

The match was level by the break thanks to a bit of freak luck, as Ribery’s hopeful ball into the fray took a turn off Jesus Navas’ feet. Goalkeeper David Soria could not adjust despite a decent effort, and it was 1-1.

It stayed that way until the 68th minute, as Ribery lifted a cross for Thiago Alcantara. The ensuing diving header took a turn on its way past Soria.

Sandro Ramirez had a terrific upper 90 attempt stopped by Ulreich minutes from the end.

 

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Everton 2-1 Manchester City: Lukaku scores, injured in League Cup semi

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Ramiro Funes Mori and Romelu Lukaku scored to give Everton a 2-1 lead after one leg of their League Cup semifinal against Manchester City at Goodison Park.

Jesus Navas scored the potentially-critical away goal for City, with the second leg coming up on Jan. 27.

Sadly for Everton, fans may be just as distraught about Lukaku limping off the field after scoring as they are excited about being 90 minutes from the League Cup final.

[ LEAGUE CUP: Liverpool takes 1-0 away lead on Stoke in other semi ]

Funes Mori was in the right spot to tap Everton into a 1-0 lead just before halftime, as Ross Barkley‘s shot from outside the 18 was saved onto the doorstep by Wily Caballero.

Everton had a pair of first-half goals disallowed, but Funes Mori’s tap-in made sure the home side had a lead going into halftime.

City came close to finding an equalizer midway through the second half, as Sergio Aguero took a touch but leaned back while blasting a 10-yard shot over the bar.

But a picture-perfect counter attack allowed Man City to capture a vital away goal. Fernandinho made a long, gorgeous pass that Sergio Aguero squared for Navas to work past Joel Robles. 1-1 in the 71st minute.

[ MORE: Pellegrini knows Premier League title may not save his job ]

But Lukaku answered back moments later, heading a fantastic left-footed cross from Seamus Coleman past Caballero to make it 2-1.

Lukaku was injured on the play, and had to leave the game with a significant limp.

Manchester City officially signs Kevin de Bruyne

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The saga is finally over, as Manchester City’s summer-long courting of Wolfsburg attacker Kevin de Bruyne has come to a happy conclusion for the Premier League leaders.

The Sky Blues announced De Bruyne’s arrival on a six-year contract, with the 24-year-old saying, “I want to reach the highest level possible as a player and I think the most important thing is that at the end of the season we can be happy and maybe have some titles. I think this is the most important for the Club, the players and for the fans of course.”

Manchester City did not indicate a transfer fee, but reports suggest it’s in the range of $78-86 million, which would be a club record signing, beating the Raheem Sterling move earlier this summer. A deal in that range would also indicate both a record for a Bundesliga sale and a record for a Belgian player.

De Bruyne left Chelsea in January of 2014 after failing to log significant game time, and he made an immediate and stunning impact at Wolfsburg, logging 10 goals and a whopping 21 assists in Bundesliga play. He and striker Bas Dost developed a brilliant partnership, and the two led the club to a second-place finish last season in the German top flight, earning Champions League play.

His amazing form caught the eye of multiple top clubs across Europe, and through a long, drawn-out summer where Wolfsburg tried every trick in the bag to keep him, ultimately the baby-faced Belgian decided to move to the Etihad.

“It takes a special footballer to improve our squad and I have no doubt that Kevin is certainly one of those,” Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini told the official team website. “he has all of the mental, physical, tactical and technical attributes required to fit straight in. We like to play attractive, attacking football and bringing in a player like De Bruyne will only aid us as we fight on four fronts.”

City plays a style somewhat similar to Wolfsburg, so in that sense De Bruyne is a great fit. However, the squad is bursting at the seams with quality attacking talent after a busy transfer window, and De Bruyne will have to compete with the likes of David Silva, Jesus Navas, Samir Nasri, Raheem Sterling, Fabian Delph and Patrick Roberts for game time. De Bruyne saw much of his success at Wolfsburg exploiting space in the center of the attack, but could be forced out wide by the current setup at City, which is where he seemed to struggle at Chelsea.

Watch Live: Manchester City vs. Watford (Lineups and Live Stream)

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Manchester City looks to keep up its powerful, unblemished run to start the season with a visit from Watford on Saturday (Watch live at 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra).

The Citizens have scored goals a-plenty and have yet to concede through three matches, and are on the verge of landing Kevin De Bruyne from Wolfsburg. In the meantime, they’ll sit David Silva, Raheem Sterling and Jesus Navas under Sergio Aguero.

As for the Hornets, they’ve drawn all three of their Premier League encounters, and captain Troy Deeney may take a fourth if you offer it to him right now.

WATCH LIVE AT 10 A.M. ET ON NBCSN AND ONLINE VIA LIVE EXTRA

LINEUPS

Manchester City: Hart, Sagna, Mangala, Kompany (C), Kolarov, Fernandinho, Yaya Toure, Silva, Sterling, Navas, Aguero. Subs: Caballero, Maffeo, Roberts, Nasri, Iheanacho, Delph, Demichelis.

Watford: Gomes; Nyom, Prödl, Cathcart, Holebas; Behrami, Capoue; Jurado, Ighalo, Abdi; Deeney (c) Subs: Arlauskis, Hoban, Watson, Layun, Anya, Diamanti, Vydra.

Wolfsburg say Kevin de Bruyne not heading to Manchester City “at this point”

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The Kevin de Bruyne saga continues.

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With reports suggesting that Manchester City were set to seal a $83 million move for De Bruyne in the coming hours, Wolfsburg officials have extinguished those hopes as the Belgian winger looks set to remain with the Bundesliga club for a little while longer.

A move from City for De Bruyne would see them break the transfer record to sign a player from Germany’s top flight, but Wolfsburg’s sporting director Klaus Allofs had the following to say on Thursday about any potential move.

“When I hear the news about Kevin de Bruyne leaving for huge amounts of money for Manchester City, I can already tell you that is not true,” Allofs said. “Over the last year there has been lots of talks to try and get him to stay at the club and there have been negotiations with Manchester City about possibly transferring but again I can inform you that it is not true. At this point in time he is not going to Manchester City.”

Have City got cold feet? Are Wolfsburg proving too difficult to deal with in the transfer market? And do the Citizens really need De Bruyne?

[ MORE: Transfer needs for each PL club on Deadline Day ]

All of those questions may point towards why this deal is dragging out, as the man who had the most assists (20) in the top five leagues in Europe last season is obviously a huge talent but City still have Raheem Sterling, Jesus Navas and Samir Nasri around in the wide positions.

Is De Bruyne really worth splashing over $80 million on after he struggled to adapt to the Premier League and was sold by Chelsea in January 2014 after being surplus to requirements? Despite his sublime passing, crossing and finishing ability, there are question marks surrounding his strength and work rate, so maybe he isn’t quite ready for the PL yet.

Regardless, with five days left in the summer transfer window, there is still time for City to salvage this deal. If they want to. And Wolfsburg saying “at this point” certainly leaves the door wide-open for De Bruyne to leave.