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Sunderland 0-2 Man City: Aguero and Sane peg spunky Cats

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Sunderland played well the opening half, but when the opposition showed its strength, they were unable to respond.

Manchester City got goals from Sergio Aguero and Leroy Sane as they took down Sunderland 2-0 at the Stadium of Light despite a positive start from the relegation-threatened Black Cats.

The game started very brightly, with Sunderland pressing City hard. The Black Cats had multiple opportunities in the opening 20 minutes, getting the home crowd signing loudly. Jermain Defoe smashed the post in the 20th minute after wheeling away from three defenders at the top of the box, and Fabio Borini’s follow-up header was wide of the mark.

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There were other half-chances for both sides in the first half. Billy Jones had a header saved in the 35th minute, his attempt too close to the center of the net. Minutes later, Leroy Sane delivered a vicious low cross for David Silva sliding in the box, a great chance, but the cross had too much pace for Silva to tap it in.

Seb Larsson delivered a corner as the clock ticked past 39 minutes, and again Jones got his head to it, but this one went just wide under heavy pressure.

Just three minutes before halftime, the opener was delivered, and it ruined Sunderland’s solid first half. Raheem Sterling on the right delivered a cross for Sergio Aguero, who squirmed past Lamine Kone to prod it home and put Manchester City in front just before halftime.

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After halftime, Sunderland’s woes were doubled as Silva fed Leroy Sane bursting down the left, and the young German finished expertly from a tight angle for City’s second just seconds before the hour mark.

With the Black Cats down a pair, they wilted, and City began to pummel Jordan Pickford‘s area. The half wore on and with City easing up as the game progressed, Sunderland came close to pulling one back, but as Defoe headed into the back of the net on a corner, the offside trap caught him yards offside and it was easily ruled out.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Aguero came close to a second as time wound down with his 86th minute shot athletically saved by young Pickford with a full-stretch dive to the goalkeeper’s left. The match ended without further incident, leaving Sunderland six points from safety, with Crystal Palace, Leicester City, and Swansea City all winning this weekend.

City, meanwhile, moved into third with the win, leaping back over Liverpool with 55 points, one back of Tottenham. Pep Guardiola and company also have a game in hand over most of the other Champions League contenders.

Man United honor attack victims ahead of Europa League final

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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.

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.