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Manchester City 2 Sevilla 1: De Bruyne late show stuns Spaniards

Kevin De Bruyne fired an injury-time winner to snatch a potentially crucial 2-1 Champions League Group D victory for Manchester City over Sevilla.

Unai Emery’s team took a deserved lead 30 minutes into a compelling first half – Yevhen Konoplyanka firing home the opener having earlier struck a post.

City, without their playmaker David Silva through injury, could only watch on as Konoplyanka turned in the type of performance with which the mercurial Spain international regularly thrills the Eastlands crowd.

Although clearly short of such ingenuity, City – once again lining up with captain Vincent Kompany on the bench – showed commendable character to force their way back onto level terms through Adil Rami’s 36th-minute own goal.

And De Bruyne then showcased his quality in stoppage time, as he coolly converted Yaya Toure’s pass – his fifth goal in seven starts for City, who repeated the same feat they had achieved from a goal down to Borussia Monchengladbach in their previous Champions League outing.

The result moves Manuel Pellegrini’s side up to second, a point behind Juventus, who were held by to a goalless draw by the Bundesliga side.

Ex-Sevilla winger Jesus Navas fired a 25-yard strike over the top-left corner in the eighth minute and City were beginning to establish a rhythm when Wilfried Bony prodded an effort too close to visiting goalkeeper Sergio Rico

Fresh from his weekend hat-trick, Raheem Sterling combined smoothly with De Bruyne for the latter to pull a shot wide before City suffered a scare in the 17th minute.

Konoplyanka thudded a free-kick from the right against Joe Hart’s near post and the England goalkeeper then got down sharply to keep out Grzegorz Krychowiak’s follow-up.

Sevilla were finding plenty of encouragement against an exposed City defence and it was little surprise when the opening goal arrived after half an hour.

Ever Banega dispossessed De Bruyne for Vitolo to cross and find Konoplyanka in ample room to thump the ball past Hart.

The home fans might have demonstrated their ongoing antipathy towards UEFA by once again booing the Champions League anthem at kick-off but they urged a response from their team, which arrived six minutes later.

Toure stormed to the byline to find Sterling, who clattered in a shot that Rico could not hold. Bony scrambled goalwards and the unfortunate Rami provided the final touch.

The equaliser did not settle Pellegrini’s men, who began the second half in frantic fashion and they might have fallen behind for a second time when Kevin Gameiro headed Benoit Tremoulinas’ left-wing cross over.

Sevilla substitute Michael Krohn-Dehli shot into the side netting as the City defence backed off, before Pellegrini made the ultimately pivotal call to withdraw Bony and place De Bryune as his attacking spearhead.

Toure extended Rico with a stinging drive in the final minute and he then turned provider, leaving De Bruyne to cut inside and dispatch an unerring left-footed finish that sealed a much-needed victory for City, who have a tough trip to Turin to come.

Wed 21 Oct, 2015
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