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11/27/2013
 

Manchester United confirmed their place in the Champions League's knock-out phase with an emphatic 5-0 win at an overwhelmed Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday.


A volley from right-back Antonio Valencia and an own goal from Leverkusen centre-back Emir Spahic gave United a commanding early lead before defender Jonny Evans added a third with an hour gone. England defender Chris Smalling added their fourth on 77 minutes after he met Wayne Rooney's chip at the back post.


Nani then latched on to a Ryan Giggs long ball for a fine solo goal for the fifth on 88 minutes with the Leverkusen defence in tatters. England's Rooney proved he can create as well as finish as he had a hand in the first four goals in an outstanding performance.


It was his cross which Valencia converted and his free-kick which Spahic headed into his own net. His shot led to Evans' goal and his deft chip beat Leverkusen's goalkeeper Bernd Leno and found Smalling unmarked for the fourth.


The result keeps David Moyes' United top of Group A and three points ahead of second-placed Shakhtar Donetsk, who United host at Old Trafford in a fortnight. Donetsk's 4-0 win at home to Real Sociedad means Leverkusen drop to third in the group and a point behind the Ukrainians.


Having offered little resistance against United, Leverkusen now need to win at Real Sociedad in their final game, and hope United beat Donetsk, to reach the last 16. Leverkusen deservedly suffered their first home defeat in 14 games since losing 2-1 to Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga back in March.

 
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06/28/2013
 

German international Marko Marin will join Sevilla on a season-long loan from Chelsea, the Spanish club confirmed on Friday, while centre-back Emir Spahic has been sold to Champions League side Bayer Leverkusen.


"Marko Marin will spend next season at Sevilla on loan after the Nervion club and Chelsea reached an agreement," a statement on the Sevilla website confirmed. "The operation is done save for the documentation being signed and the player passing a medical."


The 24-year-old joined the Europa League winners just last year on a five-year deal from Werder Bremen. However, he saw his opportunities in the first team under both Roberto Di Matteo and Rafael Benitez limited by injuries and a loss of form as he made just 16 appearances, scoring one goal.


Sevilla are in need of a creative spark after selling Jesus Navas to Manchester City earlier this month for an initial fee in the region of 17.5 million euros ($23.2 million, £14.9 million).


Meanwhile, the Spanish side has sold centre-back Spahic to Leverkusen, the Bosnia and Herzegovina captain signing a two-year contract for an undisclosed fee. "In Emir Spahic, we have signed a centre-back with great international experience," said Bayer Leverkusen chief executive officer Wolfgang Holzhaeuser, of Spahic who has made more than 60 appearances for Bosnia.


Bayer have been busy in the off season, already signing South Korea striker Son Heung-min, Italian defender Giulio Donati, Australia midfielder Robbie Kruse and Greek defender Kostantinos Stafylidis.

 
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