Sunderland eliminate Manchester United, books Capital One Cup final date at Wembley

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On any other year, arrival into the Capital One Cup final might not be a big deal around mighty Manchester United.

The so-called League Cup, as we know, is not the first, second or even third trophy pursued annually by the heavyweights of Old Trafford.

But now the wobbly giants cannot even get there!

Sunderland instead will move into the League Cup final at London’s Wembley Stadium, having downed David Moyes’ men fell in a real scrap in Wednesday’s second leg semifinal. Sunderland prevailed in a contest that needed 120 minutes and a fairly inept set of penalties to declare a winner.

Sunderland will face Manchester City in the March final at the famed ground in London.

Having fallen in the first leg, 2-1, Jonny Evans got the goal that seemed to matter most for Moyes’ United, a first half strike that leveled the score on aggregate. Sunderland enjoyed a surprising amount of second-half possession and certainly threatened Manchester United goal a time or two, but could never get the breakthrough goal that would send them to London.

The 2-2 aggregate score sent Wednesday’s match into an extra 30 minute period that sprang amazingly to life right at the end.

With United poised to go through, Sunderland’s Phil Bardsley struck right at the extra time finish, due in great part to a David de Gea’s error, one that they’ll talk about for a while around Old Trafford. So, Sunderland would have gone through at that point, the Black Cats finding themselves in their first domestic cup final since 1992.

But Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez scored one of his biggest yet for the United, roofing a ball at the final whistle to send the match into a penalty kick tiebreaker (since both home teams had won, 2-1, the score was deadlocked even after the away goals rule.)

Both teams flubbed numerous chances from the 12-yard spot. When Sunderland ‘keeper Vito Mannone saved Rafael’s effort, United was sunk and Sunderland went through.

Soccer world reacts to the Manchester attacks

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NBC News is reporting that at least 19 people have been killed and another 50 are injured following a possible suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

Multiple senior U.S. intelligence officials who are monitoring British authorities told NBC News that preliminary reports indicate that a single explosion took place outside the arena on the southwest side opposite the train station. The explosion occurred as the concert ended, catching people as they exited.

Soccer personalities around the world are reacting to the horrible event.

Juventus purchases Cuadrado from Chelsea

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If you didn’t realize Juan Cuadrado still belonged to Chelsea, you’re forgiven.

The Colombian attacker will complete his second season at Juventus after the UEFA Champions League Final against Real Madrid, and won’t be headed back to Chelsea afterwards.

Juve has purchased Cuadrado, and the fee is $22 million, and Juve will pay it over three seasons. Cuadrado, 28, is now signed through 2020 with The Old Lady.

Cuadrado first went on loan to Juve in Aug. 2015, and has eight goals and 18 assists in 83 career appearances with the club.

Chelsea bought Cuadrado from Fiorentina for around $32 million in the January 2015 transfer window, but made just 14 appearances with the club.

Report: Jermain Defoe meeting with Bournemouth

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Sky Sports is reporting that Jermain Defoe may head back to the south of England following Sunderland’s relegation.

Defoe, 34, spent two seasons with Portsmouth between 2008-09, scoring 15 goals in 31 appearances.

[ MORE: ‘The Moment’ of each PL club’s season ]

The 56-times capped England striker had a clause in his Sunderland contract allowing him to leave the Stadium of Light were the Black Cats to be relegated, as they were this season. He’d have little interest in dropping into the Championship given his desire to stay a part of the England squad ahead of the 2018 World Cup.

Bournemouth’s strike corps includes Joshua King, who scored the most goals of any player not on a Top Seven side this season. King’s 16 goals were one more than Defoe’s 15, though the latter scored just one goal following a brace against Crystal Palace on Feb. 4.

Chelsea’s Conte wins pair of top managerial honors

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Antonio Conte took league and national honors from the League Managers Association on Monday night.

The Chelsea boss was named Premier League Manager of the Year and Manager of the Year after leading the Blues to the PL title and an FA Cup Final in his first year on the job.

Brighton and Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton nabbed another Championship boss of the year award after leading the Gulls to the Premier League. He also won the honor with Newcastle United in 2010.

The League One winner is Chris Wilder of Sheffield United. Wilder won the honor with Northampton Town last season.

In League Two, Paul Cook of Portsmouth was named the winner.