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Chelsea 2-1 Man City: Blues edge closer to title

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  • Chelsea maintain 7-point lead
  • Two goals from Hazard win it for Blues
  • City equalized through Aguero
  • Man City stay fourth

LONDON — Chelsea beat Manchester City 2-1 at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday as Antonio Conte‘s side remain on track to win the Premier League title.

Eden Hazard‘s first half double was enough to see Chelsea past City who had equalized through Sergio Aguero and missed a glorious late chance as John Stones spooned his effort over.

With the win Chelsea stay seven points ahead of second place Tottenham, while City stay in fourth.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays

Chelsea got off to the perfect start as the ball was cut back to Hazard and his weak first-time effort somehow beat Willy Caballero who complained about having to see through some of his defenders. 1-0 to Chelsea.

City improved as the first half wore on with Fernandinho having his long-range shot saved by Thibaut Courtois and a promising break from Leroy Sane ended with Aguero’s shot blocked.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Chelsea almost scored a fortuitous second when Hazard’s mazy run and pass found Fabregas and his deflected effort was deflected onto the crossbar by Gael Clichy.

Aguero then equalized for City as a terrible mistake from Courtois saw Chelsea’s Belgian goalkeeper play the ball straight to Silva and his shot was parried into the path of Aguero who finished. 1-1.

Just when City were on top — Sane raced through but Courtois did just enough to put him off — Chelsea went back in front as Pedro was brought down in the box by Fernandinho for a clear penalty kick. Although Hazard’s poor spot kick was saved, the Belgian playmaker finished the rebound.

2-1 to Chelsea but City were a threat every time they poured forward.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

At the start of the second half Vincent Kompany‘s looping header came off the crossbar as City pushed hard for an equalizer.

City continued to do most of the pressing with John Stones rising to head towards goal but his effort was straight at Courtois.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score

As City pushed for the win late on they left gaps for Chelsea to exploit and Hazard had a glorious chance to wrap up all three points but blazed his effort over the bar from the edge of the box.

City came so close to equalizing in the dying moments but Aguero’s effort was saved by Courtois and somehow Stones skewed an effort agonizingly over the bar from five yards out.

Chelsea survived a massive scare but stay on track to lift the PL trophy.

CCL: Toronto wins; Wild Herediano comeback

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On a single-digit Tuesday that severely limited the attendance at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, where the Colorado Rapids and Toronto FC dueled in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals.

Jonathan Osorio’s second half goal put the Reds in front and Sebastian Giovinco had a goal and an assist and the visitors take a 2-0 decision back to Ontario.

The best chance of a preseason quality first half saw Dominique Badji flub the best chance of the stage into the feet of Alex Bono.

Toronto took the lead, nabbing the away goal through Osorio’s header of a Sebastian Giovinco cross. And the Atomic Ant got on the board with a goal of his own off an Auro assist with 17 minutes to play.

[ MORE: Georgia teen heading to Schalke ]

Tuesday’s other first leg saw Herediano and Tigres play to a 2-2 draw in Costa Rica, with the Liga MX visitors taking a pair of away goals but shocked by a pair of stoppage time concessions.

Francisco Meza scored in the 15th minute and Lucas Zelarayan seemingly put it to bed with 15 minutes to play.

But Yendrick Ruiz converted a 90th minute penalty kick before ex-DC United forward Jairo Arrieta did this ahead of the Feb. 22 second leg in Mexico.

Another American heads to Schalke: Zyen Jones

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Schalkamerica?

Bundesliga mainstays Schalke have added yet another American, this one 17-year-old Zyen Jones of Atlanta United. Jones is a forward with the U.S. U-17 national team.

Like Josh Sargent, who signed his deal with Werder Bremen on Tuesday, he’ll head overseas and sign a pro contract on Aug. 25, his 18th birthday.

[ MORE: Chelsea-Barca recap | JPW’s 3 things ]

Jones will join several potential USMNT teammates in Gelsenkirchen, including injured senior team midfielder Weston McKennie and youngster Nick Taitague (19). Forward Haji Wright is on loan at Sandhausen.

Report: Simon Dawkins making move to Minnesota

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The Loons are taking a flier on Simon Dawkins.

The London-born Jamaican international hasn’t done a ton since returning to MLS from Derby County, and turned 30 over the offseason, and Paul Tenorio says the player is on his way to Minnesota United.

[ MORE: Chelsea-Barca recap | JPW’s 3 things ]

Dawkins scored 14 goals between 2011-12 with San Jose, but scored just five times in his return to California and was blanked in 14 appearances last season. He registered just 10 shots in those matches.

The left winger would join an attack with Christian Ramirez, Kevin Molino, Ethan Finlay, and a pair of Generations Adidas forwards: Abu Danladi (2017 SuperDraft) and Mason Toye (2018).

Champions League Weds. preview: Sevilla-Man Utd, Shakhtar-Roma

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Jose Mourinho says Manchester United is one round away from having legitimate hopes of winning the UEFA Champions League.

[ MORE: Chelsea-Barca recap | JPW’s 3 things ]

That makes the Round of 16 tie against Sevilla — beginning Wednesday in Spain — a bit of a dream qualifier for the Red Devils.

“I normally say that Champions League dreams start around the quarter-finals and not yet in the last 16,” Mourinho said on ManUtd.com. “Last 16 still looks a long way to go. When a team reaches the quarter-finals, I think it’s the moment where even the teams that are not favourites – which is our case – they start realising that anything is possible.

The injury-hit side got a bit of a boost on Tuesday in Sevilla, where Paul Pogba, Antonio Valencia, Marcus Rashford and Ander Herrera all trained ahead of the first leg.

As for the hosts, manager Vincenzo Montella admitted that he hopes Pogba won’t play, and joked that he’d prefer to tie up and “padlock” Alexis Sanchez in a bid to defend against the Chilean star.

The final Round of 16 tie to start will be Roma’s pairing with Shakhtar Donetsk, with the first leg taking place in Ukraine.

Shakhtar hasn’t played in some time, but the great equalizer is the bitter cold at Donbass Arena, where the temperature is set to be between 21 and 28 degrees Fahrenheit come kickoff.

Don’t worry, Roma fans, Daniele De Rossi is busy breathing fire into any teammates angling for excuses:

“The cold weather could affect things a little because we’re not used to it but at the end of the day it comes down to how well you perform out there. We must be mentally ready from the get-go because the cold might hit us in the opening minutes.

“If it was that much of a factor, these teams would win the Champions League every year. You don’t go through because of the weather.”