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EFL Cup: Saints outlast Liverpool, end 14-year Cup final drought

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Southampton are headed to Wembley Stadium for their first major Cup final since 2003 (FA Cup — lost to Arsenal) after outlasting Liverpool over 180 minutes (1-0 in the first leg at home; 1-0 away on Wednesday) in the semifinals of the 2016-17 EFL Cup.

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The three best chances of Wednesday’s first half all went Saints’ way, with Steven Davis and Dusan Tadic presenting themselves inside the penalty area for Nathan Redmond, who tore up and down the right side of Liverpool’s defense over the two legs. It was baptism by fire for Liverpool’s 18-year-old Trent Alexander-Arnold, who always seemed one or two steps behind Redmond.

Tadic’s chance was the clearest cut for Saints, as Redmond cut the ball back to the penalty spot for the Serbian international, only to see Loris Karius quickly off his line to smother the low shot toward goal.

[ MORE: Wednesday’s transfer rumor roundup | Tuesday | Monday ]

Liverpool saw two big chances come and go early in the second half, as Fraser Forster somehow pawed the ball off his own goal line, and Daniel Sturridge sent his one-on-one effort over the crossbar after Jordan Henderson played him through brilliantly.

With Liverpool pushing more and more for a late equalizer, Saints suddenly enjoyed acres of space on the counter, which Shane Long made the most of in the 91st minute. Josh Sims played the ball through to Long inside the penalty area, and Long lifted it over the outstretched arm of Karius to send it inside the far post for a 1-0 victory on the night, and a 2-0 triumph on aggregate.

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 clubs, players and 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.