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Sunderland and Fulham face replay after tedious draw

Jack Rodwell was dismissed. Credit: Reuters

Substitute Hugo Rodallega was denied an FA Cup giant-killing act by a post as Sky Bet Championship Fulham very nearly shocked 10-man Premier League outfit Sunderland.

The Colombia international blasted against the woodwork as time ran down with the Black Cats, who played the final 24 minutes without £10million midfielder Jack Rodwell after he was dismissed for a second bookable offence, teetering on the brink.

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Defoe not concerned by Sunderland pressure

New signing Jermain Defoe is relishing the pressure of being asked to fire Sunderland out of Barclays Premier League trouble.

The 32-year-old England international completed a swift return to English football last week after an 11-month spell in the MLS with Toronto when the Black Cats struck a swap deal for United States international Jozy Altidore.

Jermain Defoe needs to fire Sunderland to safety. Credit: PA

"There's always been pressure, to be honest, on me from when I was young. When I was at West Ham, I came through young, then I signed for Tottenham at a young age, and you are brought in to score goals, it's as simple as that.

"I think it's a good pressure. You have got to enjoy it at the end of the day, you have got to embrace it because at the end of the day, I love playing football, I love scoring goals, and I always believe if I get the chances, I'll score.

"It's not a case of thinking about the pressure too much, you have got to go out there and just enjoy it, just enjoy playing football and hopefully the goals will come."

Altidore involved in Sunderland swap deal for Defoe

Altidore is set for a return to the MLS. Credit: PA

Sunderland striker Jozy Altidore was on his way to Toronto on Thursday morning as he and Jermain Defoe prepared to trade places.

Press Association Sport understands the 25-year-old United States international was booked on a flight to Canada after travelling down to London from the north-east on Wednesday evening with Defoe, 32, having headed in the opposite direction.

Altidore's proposed return to Major League Soccer to replace the former Tottenham frontman in a player-plus-cash deal remains a major factor in Defoe's switch to the Black Cats, but the move will have to be ratified by American game's governing body. MLS operates an allocation policy, meaning Toronto FC do not necessarily have first refusal.

Head coach Gus Poyet, who worked briefly with Defoe during his time on the staff at White Hart Lane, will keep his fingers crossed as he attempts to re-shape a strike-force which has proved less than lethal to date this season.

Chunk of severed ear found after street fight

A chunk of severed ear has been found lying in the street after a city centre brawl.

Staff at Sunderland Royal Infirmary alerted police to the find after taking a call from a man saying he had found the piece of flesh in the centre, just minutes from the University of Sunderland campus, shortly before 7am yesterday.

The chunk of ear was found near the scene of a fight in the city centre Credit: Google Maps

It is thought to be linked to a fight in Derwent Street less than two hours earlier.

Anyone with any information about the incident is urged to contact officers as soon as possible.

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Plans to 'spirit' missing three boys out of the country

Police who found the three boys who went missing four days ago said there may have been a plan to "spirit them out of the country."

They failed to return to their foster carers' home in Sunderland, after setting out on a tea-time bike ride to a local park.

Instead, they caught a Metro to Newcastle, then took a pre-booked taxi to London and spent two nights in the capital before heading for Birmingham.

Superintendent Alan Veitch, who led the major investigation to find them, said it was "entirely possible" that the plan was to get the boys out of the country.

  1. Tyne Tees

Missing boys were in London, Birmingham and Lancashire

Three boys from Sunderland who have been missing since Monday were found in the Lancashire area today, police said.

According to Northumbria Police, they had been to addresses in London, Birmingham and Lancashire while missing.

Officers say this appears to have been a carefully orchestrated pre planned operation and the boys will now be brought back to North East to be repatriated with their foster carers.

Police say seven arrests have been made in total in connection with their disappearance.

Three missing brothers are found safe and well

Three brothers who have been missing since Monday have been found safe and well, police have said.

Remus, Janko and David Matlock went missing from their foster home in Sunderland. Credit: Northumbria Police

Remus, Janko and David Matloch, aged 15, 12 and 10, sparked a manhunt after they failed to return to their foster parents' home in Sunderland after going on a tea-time bike ride.

CCTV showed the trio catching a Metro train to Newcastle but they were later found in the Lancashire area.

A Northumbria Police spokesman said: "All three boys have been found safe and well in the Lancashire area. The media and public are thanked for their assistance."

Two arrests over three missing Sunderland brothers

Police searching for three brothers missing since Monday have arrested a man and a woman in connection with their disappearance.

Remus, Janko and David Matlock have been missing since Monday evening. Credit: Northumbria Police

Remus, Janko and David Matloch, aged 15, 12 and 10, failed to return to their foster parents' home in Sunderland after going on tea-time bike ride.

Instead, they caught a Metro train to Newcastle and were last seen leaving Central station.

The boys have yet to be found but Northumbria Police said they arrested a 34-year-old man and a 39-year-old woman at an address in Birmingham last night.

Superintendent Alan Veitch, of Sunderland Area Command, said the investigation to find the brothers was still ongoing in both Birmingham and London.

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