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Kevin de Bruyne admits he ‘missed’ being on the pitch

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Kevin de Bruyne made a stunning return from a five-month injury layoff, sending a powerful message to the Premier League with his performance.

In a dramatic match against Newcastle United at St James’ Park, Oscar Bobb, coming off the bench, scored his first league goal and secured a last-gasp winner for Manchester City, propelling them to a 3-2 victory.

However, it was De Bruyne who stole the spotlight with his 21-minute cameo, scoring the equalizer and providing the assist for Bobb’s decisive goal.

His performance showcased the impact he brings to the team and highlighted what Pep Guardiola’s side has been missing during his absence.

“I missed this,’ De Bruyne said. ‘I enjoyed myself. I think it was more willpower than anything else. It was crazy. I know I’m not able to do that for 90 minutes at the moment.

“I can put in a shift for 30 minutes at the moment. I feel it in my lungs, especially with the cold.’

De Bruyne praised Bobb’s mature and well-timed run, which proved pivotal in City’s victory. Despite Jack Grealish being unavailable due to a virus that had kept him out of training during the week, Bobb’s performance was noteworthy.

Guardiola had high expectations of De Bruyne, anticipating that his very first touch, a free-kick just outside the Newcastle box, would have a significant impact on the game.

“I am so disappointed in him and upset and grumpy because he didn’t score with the free kick,’ the City boss joked.

“He is a legend, he is loved by our people and hopefully in the last months he can help us be there to the end.

“The way we play is quite similar without him but to win games we need players like Kevin or Erling [Haaland].

“After eight years together we know exactly what we have to do, he sees something special in the final third. That is not tactical but talent.”

EPL

Palmer overtakes three-season Havertz stat at Chelsea

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Palmer overtakes three-season Havertz stat at Chelsea

Cole Palmer’s remarkable four-goal performance against Everton on Monday evening has propelled him to the top of the Premier League golden boot race.

With 20 goals to his name this season, he is now neck and neck with Erling Haaland in the race for the prestigious award.

His scoring spree also highlights his incredible impact at Chelsea, as he has now scored more league goals in his first seven months at the club than Kai Havertz managed in three seasons, tallying 19 goals.

Palmer’s outstanding form has been instrumental in Chelsea’s climb up the Premier League table, bringing them within just three points of sixth place.

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Champions League

‘He’s had 48 hours’ – Arsenal boss shares update on Bukayo Saka after furious penalty demand

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'He's had 48 hours' - Arsenal boss shares update on Bukayo Saka after furious penalty demand

Bukayo Saka expressed frustration at not being awarded a penalty after a clash with Manuel Neuer during Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals.

He confronted the referee at full-time and even followed him down the tunnel, a departure from Saka’s typically composed demeanor.

When questioned about Saka’s condition before the upcoming match against Aston Villa on Sunday, Mikel Arteta stated, “Yes, he looked fine this morning.”

“He’s had 48 hours to think about it and it’s done.”

Arteta chose not to address the incident after the game, but there was a general consensus that Saka’s contact with Neuer was minimal.

Saka faced criticism for his reaction, but given the high emotions of the game, such reactions were not uncommon.

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Champions League

Real Madrid 3-3 Man City: Valverde caps off evening of stunning goals in Champions League thriller (Video)

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Real Madrid 3-3 Man City: Valverde caps off evening of stunning goals in Champions League thriller

Manchester City and Real Madrid played out an enthralling 3-3 draw in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final, setting up an intriguing second leg at the Etihad Stadium.

City took an early lead through Bernardo Silva’s cleverly taken free-kick, but Madrid equalized twice with deflected strikes from Eduardo Camavinga and Rodrygo, which took slight touches off Ruben Dias and Manuel Akanji respectively.

Phil Foden restored City’s lead with a superb strike from outside the box, before Josko Gvardiol scored his first goal for the club with a fine right-footed shot to make it 3-2.

However, Madrid fought back once again, with Federico Valverde’s stunning volley ensuring the tie ended level.

The result leaves the quarter-final finely balanced ahead of the second leg, with City looking to replicate their 4-0 victory over Madrid in last season’s semi-finals at the Etihad Stadium.

There was a late injury concern for City as Foden hobbled off following a late tackle on his ankle, but the extent of the injury is yet to be determined.

Real Madrid vs Man City

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