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Thursday, Oct 24th

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Manchester City played out a disappointing 1-1 draw with Liverpool in an English Premier League tie at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

In what was a bruising encounter between two aspirants for a top 4 berth come the end of the season, the Referee was the centre of attraction in a close first half that saw numerous penalty appeals but none being awarded.

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Spain chief coach Julen Lopetegui on Friday recalled key footballers to his squad for the forthcoming 2018 World Cup qualifying game at home against Israel and the friendly with France away.

Defenders Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique, who were both injured for the last internationals in November, return to the side, along with Andres Iniesta, Jordi Alba and Chelsea striker Diego Costa, who were also unable to play four months ago because of physical problems.

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola cited a poor first half performance as the reason for his side's Champions League round of 16 exit at the hands of AS Monaco.

"Forty five minutes," Guardiola told BT Sport when asked what had gone wrong. "We played an exceptional second half, but the first one we forgot to be there. We are a team that wanted to defend aggressive without the ball, with the ball, and the second half was much much better but it wasn't enough.

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AS Monaco and Atletico Madrid became the latest UEFA Champions League quarter-finalists after eliminating their respective opponents Manchester City and Bayer Leverkusen in the return leg of the last 16 stage.

Enjoying a 5-3 advantage from the first leg at their home ground, Manchester City did not play conservatively in an attack-oriented affair on Wednesday night against Monaco, who had tallied 123 goals coming into the match.

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Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummingge has said that Joshua Kimmich, a reported transfer target of Manchester City, will be Philipp Lahm's successor as the Bavarian football club's right-back, although he has not earned many minutes so far this season.

Lahm will conclude his career at Bayern by the end of this season, just like Xabi Alonso who announced his retirement recently, while Kimmich; a multi-functional player, can play both in midfield or as a right-back.

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Keeping in mind last season's Champions League semi-finals run, Manchester City attacking midfielder Kevin de Bruyne has urged his teammates to emulate their success.

City knocked out Dynamo Kiev and Paris Saint-Germain to reach the last-four stage during the last season, winning a knockout game in the competition for the first time. They lost to eventual winners Real Madrid in the last four clash.

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If Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola manages to win the Champions League, it will be the Spaniard's biggest achievement, according to midfielder Yaya Toure.

"I think this could be Pep's biggest achievement," Toure was quoted as saying by mirror.co.uk. "It is his biggest test. But this guy likes challenges - and so do the players. So it is good."

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