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May 27, 2017

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Man City put PL trophy pursuit back in own hands

LIVERPOOL, England -- The Premier League title race swung back in Manchester City's favor Sunday as the team took full advantage of Liverpool slipping up against Chelsea.

Liverpool still tops the standings despite losing 2-0 to Chelsea, which is now only two points behind with two games remaining.

But it's City that now has matters in its own hands after winning 2-0 at Crystal Palace. Despite still sitting third in the table, three points behind Liverpool, the 2012 champions have a game in hand and a superior goal difference.

With City playing at Everton on Saturday, Liverpool needs a huge favor from its neighbors at Goodison Park to regain the initiative in the title race. It's a race which is likely to go down to the final day on May 11.

City has Yaya Toure back from a thigh injury at just the right time. The influential midfielder scored one goal and set up City's second to overcome a Palace side that had secured its Premier League status by winning its previous five games, including against Chelsea.

Toure whipped in a cross in the fourth minute in south London that Edin Dzeko headed into the net. Just before halftime, Toure started and concluded a collective attacking advance by sending a curling shot past Julian Speroni.

"It was a tricky game but we did well," Toure said.

The match at Anfield wasn't as lively — despite the same score-line — as a resilient Chelsea side successfully nullified a team on an 11-game winning streak.

Liverpool gifted Chelsea the opening goal in first-half stoppage time. Captain Steven Gerrard, usually the reliable heartbeat of the team and inspirational one-club player, slipped near the halfway line, giving away the ball to Demba Ba.

With Gerrard unable to chase him down, the Senegal striker advanced unchallenged before slotting the ball past goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.

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