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Manchester City’s title chances improve after Liverpool loses

Manchester City won 2-0 at Crystal Palace and English Premier League leader Liverpool suffered a 2-0 loss to visiting Chelsea on Sunday.

Edin Dzeko and Yaya Toure scored first-half goals for Manchester City, which has 77 points with three matches left.

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Liverpool has 80 points and Chelsea is second with 78; both have two matches remaining.

In case a tiebreaker is needed to decide the title, Manchester City has a superior goal difference to both Liverpool and Chelsea at this stage.

Demba Ba and Willian scored for Chelsea, snapping Liverpool’s winning streak at 11 matches. Fans clashed outside the stadium afterward.

Ajax wins its 33rd Dutch title

Ajax won its 33rd Dutch-league title and fourth straight after drawing at Heracles Almelo 1-1.

Ajax’s Frank de Boer is the first manager in the league to win four titles in a row.

Alves responds to racist taunt

Barcelona defender Dani Alves responded to a racist taunt in a Spanish-league match at Villarreal by picking up a banana that landed at his feet, peeling and then eating it before proceeding to take a corner kick.

Alves, a Brazilian, said after the match that humor is the best way to combat racism in sports.

“If you don’t give it importance, they don’t achieve their objective,” he said.

Barcelona won the match 3-2.

Dynamo, Timbers tie in MLS

Will Bruin scored in the 16th minute to end Houston’s scoreless streak at 334 minutes and the Dynamo tied the visiting Portland Timbers 1-1 in a Major League Soccer match.

Gaston Fernandez scored in the 33rd minute for Portland (0-3-5), the only winless team in the Western Conference.

Motor sports

Hunter-Reay wins IndyCar race

Ryan Hunter-Reay coasted to his second straight victory at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala., when the rain-shortened IndyCar Series race finished under caution.

A full-course caution came out for the final seven minutes of the timed race after rookie Mikhail Aleshin lost control and went off the track. That left Hunter-Reay unchallenged, with Andretti Autosport teammate Marco Andretti finishing second in the Grand Prix of Alabama.

Hunter-Reay has 12 career victories.

There was slipping and sliding after the field switched from the wet tires, with several drivers leaving the track.

“That was horrible for everybody,” Hunter-Reay said. “It was like an ice-skating rink.”

NASCAR to investigate punch

NASCAR officials said they are examining video of a fight between drivers Marcos Ambrose and Casey Mears after Saturday night’s Toyota Owners 400, a Sprint Cup Series race in Richmond, Va., won by Joey Logano.

Ambrose responded to a shove from Mears by punching him in the face.

“We’re looking at the video,” Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition, said. “It doesn’t seem to be much. We’ll take a look Monday and Tuesday.”

Enders-Stevens triumphs

Erica Enders-Stevens raced to her second Pro Stock victory of the season in the NHRA SpringNationals, beating Allen Johnson in the final at Royal Purple Raceway in Baytown, Texas.

Meanwhile, Antron Brown won in Top Fuel and Robert Hight took the Funny Car division.


Sharapova earns her 30th title

Maria Sharapova of Russia won her third straight Porsche Grand Prix title in Stuttgart, Germany, by rallying to defeat Ana Ivanovic of Serbia 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 in the final.

Sharapova won her first tournament of the year and earned the 30th title of her career.

Nishikori wins on clay in Spain

Fourth-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan beat unseeded Santiago Giraldo of Colombia 6-2, 6-2 to win the Barcelona Open in Spain for his first career title on clay.

It was Nishikori’s fifth tournament title and his second of the year.


• UCLA guard Jordan Adams has changed his mind and decided to make himself eligible for the NBA draft. Adams led the Bruins in scoring at 17.4 points per game as a sophomore and set a school record for steals in a season with 95.

UCLA guards Kyle Anderson and Zach LaVine — a former Bothell High School standout who played one season of college ball — previously declared for the draft.

• Australian cyclist Simon Gerrans of the Orica-GreenEdge team won the 100th edition of the Liege-Bastogne-Liege classic in Belgium.

Gerrans covered 163 miles in 6 hours, 37 minutes, 43 seconds.

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