Chelsea beats Manchester City
Despite two victories over Manchester City, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said he thinks City is the class of the English Premier League.
Branislav Ivanovic scored in the 31st minute and Chelsea neutralized the league’s most potent attack with a 1-0 road victory Monday night in a key league showdown.
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Chelsea, playing at home, defeated City 2-1 in October.
After 24 matches, Arsenal leads the league with 55 points. City and Chelsea each have 53 points, though City is in second place based on goal difference.
“We beat them twice, but they are the best team,” Mourinho said.
City had been 15-0 at home this season in domestic matches. The team had scored in each of its previous 61 home Premiership matches.
Browns hire Shanahan as OC
Kyle Shanahan was hired as offensive coordinator of the Cleveland Browns after spending the previous four seasons in the same role with the Washington franchise. The 34-year-old will be on the staff of coach Mike Pettine, who was hired Jan. 23 to replace the fired Rob Chudzinski.
Shanahan replaces Norv Turner, who will be offensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings.
In Washington, Shanahan worked for his father, coach Mike Shanahan. Both were fired Dec. 30 after a 3-13 season.
Rays’ Hellickson has surgery
Right-hander Jeremy Hellickson of the Tampa Bay Rays has undergone surgery on his pitching elbow and is expected to miss at least the first six weeks of the season.
The 2011 AL Rookie of the Year had discomfort in his elbow after beginning his offseason throwing program in December.
Hellickson, 26, was 12-10 with a 5.17 earned-run average last season. In January, he agreed to a one-year contract worth $3.625 million.
Jeter takes batting practice
Shortstop Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees has taken on-field batting practice for the first time since his 2013 season was cut short by injuries.
Jeter hit with authority to all fields during a 39-swing session in Tampa, Fla. He was limited to 17 games last year after suffering a broken ankle during the 2012 playoffs.
The 39-year-old is not worrying about those who doubt his ability to return from the injury.
“My job is to be ready to play,” he said. “I remember when I was 35, everyone said that was it. He can’t play anymore. End of my career. So, it’s really nothing different. Eventually, somebody is going to be right, you know what I mean? You’re going to run out of numbers.”
Gibson, Towers get extensions
The Arizona Diamondbacks extended the contracts of manager Kirk Gibson and general manager Kevin Towers. Contracts for both had been set to expire after the 2014 season.
Arizona and Gerardo Parra, a two-time Gold Glove outfielder, avoided an arbitration hearing by agreeing to a one-year, $4.85 million contract.
Manager: Thorpe is in rehab
The manager of Australian Ian Thorpe said the five-time Olympic gold medalist “ is in rehab for depression.”
Thorpe was found disoriented on a Sydney street by police responding to a call from residents.
Manager James Erskine told the Australian Associated Press that Thorpe, 31, was affected by a combination of antidepressants and the painkillers he was taking for a shoulder injury.
“He hadn’t had a drink,” Erskine said of Thorpe. “He had zero alcohol in him.”
• Todd Parrott has landed a crew-chief position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with Tommy Baldwin Racing.
Parrott was suspended by NASCAR last year for failing a random drug test and it cost him his job with Richard Petty Motorsports. Parrott completed NASCAR’s recovery program and was reinstated in January to work in the garage.
Parrott will be the crew chief for the No. 36 car. The team has not announced a driver yet.
• Heavyweight boxer Wladimir Klitschko (61-3) of Ukraine will face Australian resident Alex Leapai (30-4-3) in a WBO title bout April 26 in Oberhausen, Germany.
It will be the 25th title fight for Klitschko, a 6-foot-6, 245-pounder who has dominated most opponents with his size and reach.
• An Alabama state trooper’s report indicates Danielle Downey, 33, a former LPGA player who was Auburn’s director of golf operations, had been drinking the night she died in a single-car accident Jan. 31.
Seattle Times news services