MONACO (AP) Radamel Falcao scored his seventh goal in the past five games as Monaco beat second-division Ajaccio 2-1 to reach the fourth round of the French Cup on Friday.
[ MORE: Premier League Power Rankings — Week 20 ]
The Colombia striker made a sharp run to the near post to turn in an excellent cross from 18-year-old French winger Kylian Mbappe in the 19th minute.
[ MORE: Lewandowski agent claims striker declined $40 million annually in China ]
The 30-year-old Falcao has netted 16 times in all competitions this season, continuing his strong return to form following a career-threatening knee injury.
It was while playing in the early rounds of the French Cup three years ago that Falcao sustained the injury, ruling him out of the 2014 World Cup.
He is thriving now after two complicated seasons on loan in the English Premier League at Manchester United and Chelsea, where his scoring deserted him as he tried to recover the strength and mobility that once made him among the world’s most feared strikers.
Falcao, with a header, and Mbappe, with a curling shot, hit the crossbar within quick succession early in the second half.
Ajaccio punished Monaco for those misses when veteran midfielder Johan Cavalli equalized from the penalty spot in the 65th.
But the lead lasted little more than one minute as substitute striker Valere Germain headed in from a free kick.
Defending champion Paris Saint-Germain is in action on Saturday when it hosts another Corsican side, Bastia.
French League leader Nice, Marseille and Lyon all play on Sunday.
Manchester United’s players and coaching staff held a minute’s silence ahead of training on Tuesday at their Carrington base in Manchester.
Following the terrorist attack in Manchester late on Monday where a suicide bomber killed 22 people and injured 59 at an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena, United will not hold a press conference and other media activities on Tuesday ahead of the Europa League final in Stockholm, Sweden.
The Europa League final against Ajax on Wednesday will still go ahead as planned at the Friends Arena in nearby Solna, with UEFA releasing a statement reassuring fans that there was no security threat in the Swedish capital.
“UEFA is shocked by last night’s attack in Manchester. Our thoughts are with the victims and the families of those affected. There is currently no specific intelligence which might suggest that any of the UEFA Europa League final activities in Stockholm may be the target of attacks.
“UEFA has been closely working with local authorities and the Swedish FA for many months and the terrorist risk had been taken into account since the very beginning of the project. Furthermore, a number of additional security measures were implemented following the attacks in Stockholm last April. Due to the tight security arrangements, UEFA urges fans to arrive at the stadium as early as possible, as detailed checks will be made at the entrances, resulting in potential delays in accessing the stadium.”
United released the following statement early on Tuesday morning following the attack, while many of their players and key figures in the soccer world have been sharing their condolences on social media.
Everyone at Manchester United is deeply shocked by last night’s terrible events at the Manchester Arena. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected, including our supporters, club staff and members of our community such as the children from our Manchester United Foundation partner schools who were attending the concert at the Arena. Club staff are ready to help the police and other emergency services in any way that may be required at this challenging time for our city.
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 clubs, players and personalities around the world are reacting to the horrible event.
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.
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.