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    Manchester City stays ahead in title race with squeaker over Everton

    May 4, 2014
    Edin Dzeko rises to score in the 43rd minute at Goodison Park in Liverpool. AP

    EDIN Dzeko scored twice to help Manchester City rally past Everton, 3-2, Saturday night and stay in control of the Premier League title race.

    City had won just one of its previous 15 matches at Goodison Park and fell behind when Ross Barkley curled in a brilliant shot to give Everton an 11th-minute lead.

    Sergio Aguero tied it in the 22nd, beating American goalkeeper Tim Howard to the near post for his 17th league goal this season. Aguero left six minutes later with a leg injury he said was minor, and City took a 3-1 lead on goals by Dzeko in the 43rd and 48th minutes.

    Romelu Lukaku's goal in the 65th set up a tense finish, but City held on through more than six minutes of stoppage time.

    City (25-6-5) has 80 points and leads on goal difference over Liverpool (25-6-5), which plays Monday at Crystal Palace. Because of its greater goal difference, City likely would win its second title in three years if it wins its final two games against Aston Villa on Wednesday and West Ham on May 11 — both at home.

    Chelsea (24-6-6), third with 78 points, hosts Norwich on Sunday.

    "The most important thing is to pick up form at the right time and we have two home games left," City captain Vincent Kompany said. "But the past has taught us to be careful."

    Fulham, which has been in the Premier League since 2001-02, was relegated along with Cardiff when they both lost and Sunderland won 1-0 at Manchester United on Sebastian Larsson's 30th-minute goal.

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    Fulham (9-24-4), bought last summer by Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan from Mohamed Al Fayed, lost 4-1 at Stoke. Cardiff (7-21-9), in its first season since promotion, was defeated 3-0 at Newcastle.

    "I have to apologize for not managing the situation. The club asked me to come — I tried," said Fulham manager Felix Magath, who in February became the Cottagers' third manager this season after Martin Jol and Rene Meulensteen. "The thing is you can never say any player would like to see relegation, but they didn't fight enough, especially today."

    After opening with a 4-0 win over Norwich last weekend, interim manager Ryan Giggs saw United (18-12-6) turn in a performance reminiscent of David Moyes' woeful 10-month tenure that ended when he was fired last month.

    "I feel flat," said Giggs. "The players were flat and I don't know why. We were putting 5- or 10-yard passes astray, and if you do that in the Premier League you get punished. We've had a problem at home all season — it's not been good enough."

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    Edin Dzeko rises to score in the 43rd minute at Goodison Park in Liverpool. AP
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