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    Maybe Alpine skiing won't be so lost without Lindsey Vonn and Aksel Lund Svindal after all. One week after Vonn and Svindal retired by claiming medals in their final races, Mikaela Shiffrin and Marcel Hirscher both showed true grit by fighting through debilitating sickness to claim the slalom titles at the world championships that everyone expected them to win. 'As we say in the country we come from, 'Long live the king' and there will be a new one,' said International Ski Federation secretary general Sarah Lewis, who is British. 'There is no question that Marcel Hirscher is wearing that loud and proud at the moment, and Mikaela Shiffrin as well.' Shiffrin and Hirscher are both on course to become the most successful skiers ever in their respective genders. At age 23, Shiffrin already has 56 World Cup wins, and 29-year-old Hirscher, the seven-time defending overall World Cup champion , has 68. Vonn retired with 82 wins , the best among women and four short of the overall record of 86 held by Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark. Svindal left with two overall titles and 13 medals at Olympics and worlds. Shiffrin also won the super-G — her first major title in a speed event — and bronze in giant slalom. The slalom victory meant Shiffrin became the first skier, male or female, to win the same event at four straight worlds. Still, it was a challenging championships for Shiffrin after Vonn and Bode Miller, her childhood idols, questioned her decision to skip the Alpine combined — an event she would have been the overwhelming favorite to win. Shiffrin then didn't show up at Vonn's retirement race. There were also accusations from the coaching staff of Slovakian rival Petra Vlhova that they were denied a chance to train with Shiffrin when many of the slalom specialists went over to Trysil, Norway, midway through worlds — even though it's common for top skiers to practice side by side. When Vlhova won the giant slalom and Shiffrin claimed the slalom, the pair of racers embraced both times and appeared to exchange heartfelt words. 'In two weeks of time a lot of stuff can happen. It's life. Life happens,' Shiffrin said. 'There's a lot of things that happened. It's just too many things to explain to everybody right now. It would take much too long. But in the moments that it counted, my team and I were able to focus on the true task and the reason we're here. That's something special.' Vlhova would not reveal what she and Shiffrin said to each other. 'It's crazy, everybody is asking me what I say to Mikaela. It's between us, so it's secret,' Vlhova said with a smile. Add Ted Ligety, the only other American skier besides Shiffrin to win five world titles, to the list of U.S. greats urging Shiffrin to do more and be less calculating with her decisions. 'I understand that need or desire to take some time away but I always felt like you got to strike while the iron is hot,' Ligety told The Associated Press. 'If you asked me in 2015 if I would only win one more World Cup I would have laughed in your face. You blow out your knee, then you throw your back a couple times and you have back surgery and next thing you know you're struggling to stay in it.' Ligety, who was unbeatable in giant slalom for a long stretch of his career, has achieved only one podium result in the last three seasons while he's been slowed by injuries. But back in 2013 when he was at the height of his powers, Ligety swept gold in super-G, combined and giant slalom at the 2013 worlds in Schladming, Austria. 'So I'm of the belief that you got to take advantage while you're healthy and when you're good, because it goes away pretty fast,' the 34-year-old Ligety said. Shiffrin 'seems to have herself under control and have that going so you have to commend her for that. But you never really know. It's not a sport where you can control every variable.' Julia Mancuso, another well-decorated U.S. skier who ended her career last year because of persistent hip pain, came to Shiffrin's defense after she posted a long Instagram message explaining her decisions midway through the championships. 'Most people forget that it's actually more difficult to make the decision to skip a race than to enter it. Routine is easy. Going against the grain is tough!' Mancuso wrote. Vonn also responded to Shiffrin's message. 'What we said was a compliment, that you are capable of winning medals in all events,' Vonn wrote. 'No one said it's easy, Bode and I both know that, as winners in all 5 disciplines. So stick with your decision and go be you. You don't have to justify anything to anyone.' Shiffrin should have a great opportunity to expand her program at the next worlds, with parallel slalom added to the schedule for the 2021 championships in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy. So will she ever entertain the possibility of competing in every event at a worlds or Olympics? 'Perhaps. It's entirely up to her and how she feels and the schedule obviously dictates a lot of that,' Jeff Lackie, one of Shiffrin's coaches, said. 'Her core events are still slalom and giant slalom. The speed, as successful as she's been in the past, is still kind of a new thing and she's taking the opportunities when they present themselves to be conducive to slalom and GS.' ___ AP Sports Writer Steve Douglas contributed to this report. ___ More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports ___ Andrew Dampf on Twitter: www.twitter.com/AndrewDampf
  • Pitch clocks are coming for spring training games. Looking to speed the pace of play in baseball, Commissioner Rob Manfred says pitchers will have 20 seconds to deliver to the plate when teams play exhibition games in Arizona and Florida beginning this week. The intention is to get players and umpires accustomed to the clock in the event Major League Baseball makes the rule change for the upcoming regular season. After the 2016 and 2017 seasons, players rebuffed management's proposal for a pitch clock. Owners have the right to implement a clock this year without consent, but Manfred has been reluctant to initiate on-field modifications without agreement from players. Speaking at spring training media day in Florida, Manfred says the rules involving the clock will be 'phased in' and won't start immediately with ball and strike calls. But there will be a functional clock in Grapefruit League and Cactus League games. ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • Denny Hamlin came to the Daytona 500 determined to honor his late car owner with a victory. He delivered in a storybook tribute for Joe Gibbs Racing. Hamlin won NASCAR's biggest race for the second time in four years Sunday, leading JGR in a 1-2-3 sweep of the podium in overtime. The race and the season have been dedicated to J.D. Gibbs, Joe Gibbs' eldest son who died last month after battling a degenerative neurological disease. J.D. Gibbs helped his father start the race team, ran it while Joe Gibbs was coaching the Washington Redskins, was a tire changer on the team's first Daytona 500 victory and the one who discovered Hamlin during a test session at Hickory Motor Speedway in North Carolina. Hamlin was hired to drive the No. 11 — the number J.D. Gibbs used when he played football — and J.D. Gibbs' name is on the Toyota. When Hamlin stopped his car along the frontstretch to collect the checkered flag, he immediately credited J.D. Gibbs. 'The whole family, they did so much for me over the course of my career, and this one is for J.D,' Hamlin said. 'We are desperately going to miss him the rest of our lies. His legacy still lives on through Joe Gibbs Racing and proud to do this for them.' Kyle Busch and Erik Jones finished second and third as JGR became the second team in NASCAR history to sweep the Daytona 500 podium. Hendrick Motorsports did it in 1997 with Jeff Gordon, Terry Labonte and Ricky Craven. Busch, now winless in 14 Daytona 500s, was initially openly disappointed in falling short. 'He's got two, I've got none, and that's just the way it goes sometimes,' Busch said. But he reiterated the JGR and Toyota goal of working together to win the race and noted he didn't have much of a shot at beating Hamlin because the field had been decimated by a flurry of late accidents. 'Was trying to make sure one of us gets to victory lane, first and foremost,' Busch said. 'There wasn't enough cars out there running at the end. I don't know how it would have played out.' The Cup Series slogged through three uninspiring exhibition races during Speedweeks to cause concern over a potentially disappointing main event. Jim France, who took over as chairman of NASCAR last August, used the pre-race driver meeting to ask the drivers to liven up the activity. Hamlin and Chase Elliott were the rare drivers to use the bottom lane in the exhibition races while the rest of the field ran single-file along the top. 'I hope a few of you drivers out there will get down on the bottom with Denny and Chase and put on a good show today,' France told the field. The drivers obeyed and delivered an action-packed and wreck-filled running of 'The Great American Race.' There was an accident on pit road, a 21-car crash, 12 cautions and five wrecks in the final 20 laps of regulation. The race was stopped twice for cleanup totaling nearly 40 minutes in the final stretch. During the second red-flag, one of NASCAR's track-drying trucks broke down while cleaning oil off the racing surface. Hamlin and Busch alternated as the leaders during the handful of late restarts, and the final rush to the checkered flag was a push to hold off Ford driver and reigning NASCAR champion Joey Logano. The Ford camp went 1-2-3 in both of Thursday's qualifying races and was favored to win the Daytona 500. Logano, who started his career at JGR, settled for fourth and also took a moment to honor J.D. Gibbs. Michael McDowell was fifth in a Ford but aggravated Logano by not working with him in the two-lap overtime sprint to the finish. 'I just told him that my team doesn't pay me to push Joey Logano to a win,' McDowell said. Ty Dillon was sixth in the highest-finishing Chevrolet. The race featured eight drivers making their Daytona 500 debuts and rookie Ryan Preece, a short track racer from New England, was best in class with an eighth-place finish. Ross Chastain, the eighth-generation watermelon farmer who lost his main ride for this year when the FBI raided his sponsor right before Christmas, finished 10th, Jamie McMurray, the 2010 winner, led six laps and was in the mix until he was collected in one of the late accidents. He finished 22nd in his final race before retirement. William Byron and Alex Bowman were the youngest front row in race history but had little to show for it after the race. Bowman finished 11th and Byron, the pole-sitter, was 21st. Hamlin last year suffered through his first winless season in the Cup Series and made a crew chief change during the offseason. When he won the 500 in 2016 it was his debut race with crew chief Mike Wheeler, and this victory came in his first race with Chris Gabehart. ___ More AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/apf-AutoRacing and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • The Latest on the Daytona 500 (all times local): ___ 7:35 p.m. Denny Hamlin has won his second Daytona 500 in four years, taking the checkered flag for Joe Gibbs Racing a month after Joe Gibbs' oldest son died following a long battle with a degenerative neurological disease. J.D. Gibbs was 49. Hamlin predicted a long night of celebrating. He says 'I'm going to hate tomorrow, but I'm going to love the rest of my life.' Hamlin moved out front after a final restart and had teammate Kyle Busch blocking in the final lap. Busch finished second, followed by another JGR teammate, Erik Jones. Defending Cup Series champion Joey Logano was fourth. Joe Gibbs says 'what happened here is really unreal.' Joe Gibbs Racing and Fox Sports paid tribute to J.D. Gibbs early in the race. The team and the television network recognized Gibbs during the 11th lap of the Daytona 500. Gibbs' favorite number was 11, the car number Hamlin has driven for the team since 2005. ___ 7:15 p.m. The Daytona 500 has turned into a wreck-fest. 'The Great American Race' had five crashes and two red flags over the final 20 laps of regulation. The race is now headed to overtime. Denny Hamlin will lead Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch to the green and white flags. Defending Cup Series champion Joey Logano and Michael McDowell also are in the mix. ___ 6:20 p.m. 'The Big One' came late in the Daytona 500. Paul Menard triggered a 21-car accident shortly after a restart with 10 laps to go in 'The Great American Race.' Menard turned Matt DiBenedetto, who slammed into the wall and started a chain-reaction that collected more than two dozen cars. It brought out a red flag that stopped the race for a lengthy cleanup. Menard says 'I'll take the blame for that one.' Defending Daytona 500 champion Austin Dillon, Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney, Aric Almirola and Daniel Suarez were among those involved in the mess. Almirola seemingly had the wildest ride, his back wheels getting lifted off the pavement and landing on David Ragan's windshield. ___ 5:40 p.m. Jimmie Johnson's chances of winning a third Daytona 500 ended with a strange accident on pit road. Johnson was running near the front of the field and trying to pit when Cody Ware and his Rick Ware Racing teammate B.J. McLeod started a wrecked that damaged Johnson's No. 48 Chevrolet. Ware and McLeod collided and started sliding across the track. They slammed into Tyler Reddick, who got sideways and smashed into Johnson. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. also was involved. Johnson's car sustained significant damage to the left rear, including around the fueling area. It was the third accident for Johnson in as many races during Speedweeks. He turned Paul Menard in the exhibition Clash, starting a 17-car crash, and then made an error and wrecked Kyle Busch in a qualifying race Thursday. ___ 5:15 p.m. Ryan Blaney was on the money in the second stage of the Daytona 500. The Team Penske driver pulled his No. 12 Ford into the team's pit stall with a $5 bill stuck to the grill. That could have paid for a hot dog at the Daytona concession stands. Penske's crew flashed the cash for a photo on Team Penske's Twitter page. Blaney had one of the fastest cars in the 2018 season opener, leading a race-high 118 laps, winning a stage and finishing seventh. He also won the second stage in Sunday's race. ___ 5 p.m. Ryan Blaney has won the second stage of the Daytona 500, showing the same kind of speed he did in last year's 'Great American Race.' Blaney had one of the fastest cars in the 2018 season opener, leading a race-high 118 laps, winning a stage and finishing seventh. He made his way to the front early in the second stage Sunday and held on for Team Penske. William Byron was second, followed by Aric Almirola, Brad Keselowski and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Casey Mears, racing in the Cup Series for the first time in two years, was the only driver out of the 200-lap opener. ___ 4:03 p.m. Kyle Busch has won the first stage of the Daytona 500, making an impressive run through the 40-car field after starting 31st. Alex Bowman was second, followed by defending Cup Series champion Joey Logano, Daniel Suarez and Ryan Blaney. The end of the stage came a few laps after Kurt Busch, Bubba Wallace, Jamie McMurray and defending Daytona 500 champion Austin Dillion were involved in a crash. The first caution of the race came after Corey LaJoie blew a right-front tire and wrecked his face. Yes, his face. The front of LaJoie's No. 32 Old Spice Ford featured a picture of his face and beard. It was mangled after the flapping rubber from the blown tire ripped up sheet metal. ___ 3:50 p.m. Kurt Busch, Bubba Wallace, Jamie McMurray and defending Daytona 500 champion Austin Dillion were involved in the first crash of the Daytona 500. Busch appeared to get loose in Turn 2 while passing Ricky Stenhouse Jr. about 50 laps into 'The Great American Race.' Busch, Wallace and McMurray managed to get their cars to pit road for repairs. Wallace and McMurray seemed to sustain the most damage. ___ 3:20 p.m. Joe Gibbs Racing and Fox Sports have paid tribute to late JGR co-founder J.D. Gibbs. The team and the television network recognized Gibbs during the 11th lap of the Daytona 500. Team owner Joe Gibbs closed his eyes during the tribute. Crew members stood atop the pit road wall and held up a banner remembering Gibbs and all he did for the team. Fox showed a picture of J.D. Gibbs smiling. Gibbs' favorite number was 11, the car number Denny Hamlin has driven for the team since 2005. The eldest son of Joe Gibbs died last month following a long battle with a degenerative neurological disease. He was 49. Hamlin is dedicating this NASCAR season to J.D.'s memory. The younger Gibbs discovered Hamlin at a late-model test at Hickory Motor Speedway in North Carolina in the early 2000s. Hamlin's charity is donating $111 to the J.D. Gibbs Legacy Fund for each lap he leads in the No. 11 Toyota in 2019. ___ 3:07 p.m. The Daytona 500 is underway, with William Byron leading the 40-car to the green flag. The 21-year-old Byron and Hendrick Motorsports teammate Alex Bowman, 25, made up the youngest front row in the 61-year history of the 'The Great American Race.' Kyle Larson, Jamie McMurray and Casey Mears had to drop to the back of the field because of unapproved changes to their cars. Larson and Mears changed transmissions; McMurray went to the back of the field because of a rear gear change. ___ 1:15 p.m. J.J. Watt used an offseason film session to prepare for the Daytona 500. The Houston Texans star and Daytona 500 grand marshal watched video of the last decade of celebrities who kicked off the race with the most famous phrase in motorsports. Watt said Dale Earnhardt Jr. had 'tons of energy' during last year's command. 'I practiced in front of my girlfriend at home last night,' Watt said. 'She gave me the thumbs up, so we're good to go guys.' Watt was raised in Wisconsin and said a seventh-grade teacher turned him onto the sport, specifically former driver Dick Trickle. Watt said his teacher would let the class know Trickle's results each week. Watt said he liked both Earnhardts and Jeff Gordon, and could feel the excitement in Daytona. 'This track is huge. It's massive,' Watt said. Watt is a three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and well known for his charity work with the Justin J. Watt Foundation, which provides after-school opportunities for children. Following Hurricane Harvey in 2017, Watt set a goal to raise $200,000 for recovery efforts in Houston. He ended up raising more than $41 million, helping earn him the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. 'I'm in a position where I get to play a game for a living and be compensated very well to do it,' Watt said. 'We have a chance to use that platform to give back and do good with it.' ___ 12:45 p.m. Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman could feel the buzz at the Daytona 500. Edelman, sporting neatly trimmed facial hair, served as honorary starter and was set to wave the green flag for Sunday's race. The New England Patriots star receiver called NASCAR drivers 'absolutely insane.' 'It's a respect level for these guys, who are clearly adrenaline junkies,' Edelman said. 'Football players, we're missing screws. These dudes certainly are, too.' Edelman had his bushy beard clipped on a recent taping of 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show,' with the trimmings used to raise money for the Boys & Girls Club of Boston. Edelman doesn't know if he'll grow the beard again to its rugged length again next season. But he grew it by taking the advice of Patriots coach Bill Belichick to heart. 'He says put everything in the draw and worry about it after football season,' Edelman said. 'So I put my razor in the draw and I worried about it after football season.' Edelman earned Super Bowl MVP honors after catching 10 passes for 141 yards while helping lift the Patriots to a 13-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams. ___ 12:30 p.m. NASCAR CEO Jim France says the France family remains committed to NASCAR. 'This sport was built by families,' France said at the Daytona 500 drivers meeting. 'It's so important that we still remember this is still a family business. Our family is committed to it.' There have been reports that suggested the France family was looking to sell NASCAR, reports that have not been specifically addressed by the current leadership. France has been visible at almost every NASCAR race since he took over last August following the arrest of his nephew, Brian France. But he's mostly kept a low public profile. He has offered no public insight as to how he plans to end NASCAR's slump and has given no interviews during his six months at the helm. France also encouraged drivers to make an exciting Daytona 500 after three exhibition races produced lackluster racing and little excitement beyond a pair of crashes Jimmie Johnson triggered. 'I hope a few of you drivers will get down on the bottom with Denny (Hamlin) and Chase (Elliott) and make a show today,' France said. ___ 12:15 p.m. A.J. Foyt was thrilled to return to Daytona International Speedway. The 84-year-old former Daytona 500 winner was happy to be anywhere, really. 'Hell, it's nice to be back instead of the funeral home,' Foyt said. Foyt won the 1972 Daytona 500 —to go with his four Indianapolis 500 victories— and said he was lucky to be born with the ability 'to adapt myself pretty quick' when it came to driving different kinds of cars throughout multiple series. Foyt said he's pretty much stepped back from the day-to-day operations of his IndyCar team. 'I go in when they need money and raise hell,' he said. Foyt has battled heath issues of late and struggled to hear questions inside the media room. 'I hate hearing aids 'cause when you go take a leak it sounds like 100 gallons of water running,' he quipped. ___ 12 p.m. Country singer Jake Owen has been to the Daytona 500 a few times and knows what to give fans for his pre-race concert. 'Hopefully, a damn good time,' Owen said. A native Floridian, Owen featured Daytona beach in his 2013 hit 'Beachin.'' Owen played golf with his friend Kevin Harvick on Saturday and picked the 2007 Daytona 500 champ to win it again. 'From what he told me, he's feeling pretty good about it,' Owen said. The track presented Owen with a custom-made Daytona 500 guitar. Late NASCAR artist Sam Bass designed and painted it. Bass helped design paint schemes and program covers that illuminated an entire sport. His death was announced Saturday. He was 57. Owen was touched by the gift that is believed to be the last guitar Bass made before his death. ___ 11:15 a.m. Kyle Larson will start the Daytona 500 from the rear of the field because of a transmission change. Larson's No. 42 Chevrolet had a transmission leak before practice Saturday. The crew tried to fix it, but ended up swapping it out altogether. Larson had been scheduled to start 26th in the 40-car field. Jamie McMurray, expected to retire from full-time racing after the 500, also went to the back of the field because of a gear change. McMurray won the 2010 Daytona 500 and had been slated to start 16th. Casey Mears also went to the back because of a transmission change, but he didn't have far to go. Mears was already starting last. ___ 10:30 a.m. Dale Earnhardt Jr. can't step away from the Daytona 500. Earnhardt won 'The Great American Race' in 2004 and a decade later and has stayed connected with NASCAR's season opener even in retirement. He is serving as the honorary pace truck driver Sunday, the first time in race history a truck will lead the field to the green flag. Earnhardt was the grand marshal for last year's race and gave the command for drivers to start their engines. Who knows, maybe next year Earnhardt can sing the national anthem or work concessions. 'I'll try and find other odd jobs each year as we go forward,' Earnhardt said. Earnhardt retired after the 2017 seasons with 26 career Cup wins. He owns JR Motorsports in the second-tier Xfinity Series and was back in victory lane Saturday with driver Michael Annett. But Earnhardt, who also works for NBC Sports, has enjoyed retirement with his wife and young daughter. 'I thought when I got out of the car, I'd miss it really bad and that would kind of wane,' Earnhardt said. 'It's actually the other way around. When I got around the car, it was 'Thank God, I'm going to have some time off.' I was just so happy to be out from under that pressure. But as time goes on, you miss it more and more and more, which was unexpected.' ___ 10 a.m. William Byron will start from the pole in the 61st running of the Daytona 500, combining with teammate Alex Bowman to create the youngest front row in the history of 'The Great American Race.' Byron is 21, and Bowman is 25. Both are driving Chevrolets for Hendrick Motorsports. Six Ford drivers will line up behind the Hendrick duo, including defending Cup Series champion Joey Logano. He starts fourth, trying to become the first reigning champ since Dale Jarrett in 2000 to win the season opener. Defending race winner Austin Dillon starts from the 10th row in the No. 3 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing. Eight drivers will make their Daytona 500 debuts, with most of them starting in the back of the pack. It's also the first Daytona 500 since 2011 that doesn't include a female driver. Danica Patrick stepped away from NASCAR after last year's opener. ___ More AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/apf-AutoRacing and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • Bayern Munich knows all too well how tough an opponent Juergen Klopp can be. Now in his fourth season at Anfield, the former Borussia Dortmund coach is facing Bayern for the first time while leading Liverpool. Bayern visits Liverpool for the first leg of their Champions League last-16 game on Tuesday, mindful that it didn't always come out on top against Klopp during his time at Dortmund. While Bayern defeated Klopp's Dortmund side in the 2013 Champions League final, Klopp had the upper hand in the 2012 German Cup final, which Dortmund won 5-2. Klopp also led Dortmund to successive league titles at Bayern's expense in 2011 and 2012. 'Personally I like Juergen Klopp a lot,' said Bayern president Uli Hoeness, who revealed that he almost signed Klopp to take over before the club decided on Jurgen Klinsmann in 2008. Also Tuesday, Lyon hosts Barcelona. On Wednesday, Atletico Madrid welcomes Juventus, and Schalke hosts Manchester City. Liverpool has not lost a European match at Anfield since the 3-0 group stage defeat to Real Madrid in 2014 and Bayern has questions over its defense ahead of its trip. The Bavarian powerhouse conceded twice to relegation-threatened Augsburg in the Bundesliga on Friday, when Leon Goretzka scored an own-goal after just 13 seconds - the quickest own-goal in 56 years of the league. Bayern won 3-2. 'We'll have to deliver a whole other performance on the day, especially in defense,' Bayern coach Niko Kovac said, warning of the danger posed by 'the three up front,' referring to Liverpool's Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino. Liverpool also had the luxury of a week without a game before Bayern's visit, due to its early FA Cup exit. The team spent four days at a training camp in Marbella, Spain. 'Our little preparation for the rest of the season,' Liverpool defender Andy Robertson said. Bayern winger Kingsley Coman is an option for Kovac after fears of an injury sustained in Augsburg proved unfounded. Coman scored twice, set up David Alaba's winner and struck the crossbar in Augsburg, while he also underlined his growing importance to the side with the winning goal against Hertha Berlin in the German Cup. Liverpool will have to cope without central defender Virgil van Dijk as he serves a UEFA suspension for the first leg. Klopp faces the prospect of having to deploy midfielder Fabinho alongside Joel Matip with Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren both injured. While Liverpool is accustomed to deep runs in Europe - winning the Champions League in 2005 and reaching the final in 2007 and last season - the club has not won the English league since 1990. Although a chance to pull away from Manchester City at the top of the Premier League was squandered with two recent draws, Liverpool is still only behind City on goal difference and has a game in hand. Here's a look at the other Champions League games this week: LYON VS. BARCELONA Barcelona is back in good spirits after ending a three-game winless streak and extending its comfortable lead in the Spanish league at the weekend. But it heads into the game against Lyon showing signs it still hasn't recovered its best form despite having a whole week to prepare before a hard-fought 1-0 home win against Valladolid in the league on Saturday. Lionel Messi and most of his teammates struggled, and the team looked off both in attack and in defense. Arthur's absence in midfield has become a problem for coach Ernesto Valverde, as the young Brazilian was the main player controlling the team's pace. Arthur needs a few more weeks to recover from a hamstring injury. The game could go a long way to deciding Lyon coach Bruno Genesio's chances of keeping his job. Although Genesio guided Lyon to the last 16 without losing a group game, long-serving club president Jean-Michel Aulas has yet to say whether Genesio will stay on next season. Genesio will have to find a way to beat Barca without Nabil Fekir, the main provider and scorer in Lyon's attack, who is suspended. With Fekir absent, Netherlands forward Memphis Depay has the chance to put in the kind of performance to help him fulfill his wish of joining a bigger club next season. ATLETICO MADRID VS. JUVENTUS Cristiano Ronaldo is returning to Madrid with his Juventus side hitting its stride at just the right time and Atletico should be worried - the former Real Madrid forward has scored 22 goals in 31 matches against Atletico. The Bianconeri are on a seemingly unstoppable march to a record-extending eighth successive league title in Italy and could be forgiven for relaxing slightly. While the 3-0 defeat at Atalanta in the Italian Cup ended its chances of a treble, followed by a 3-3 draw against Parma, it appears to have been just a blip with Juve then beating Sassuolo and Frosinone, 3-0 each time. 'Yes, we are in a good condition,' Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said. 'Apart from the setback against Parma we are doing well, and we are at a particularly important moment.' Ronaldo scored again against Frosinone on Friday to take his tally to 19 in Serie A. He also showed as good an understanding with Paulo Dybala as he has had with Mario Mandzukic, who joined Juventus from Atletico in 2015. Allegri was able to rest several players for Friday's match while also giving a run to key defenders Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini, back from injury. Atletico has not looked convincing in the Spanish league, scraping a 1-0 win at relegation-threatened Rayo Vallecano on Saturday after two defeats. SCHALKE VS. MANCHESTER CITY Man City was given a kind draw against a Schalke side clearly struggling in its second season under coach Domenico Tedesco. Saturday's 0-0 draw at home against Freiburg was indicative of the Gelsenkirchen-based team's season to date - an unattractive game of few chances with midfielder Suat Serdar sent off before the break for a studs-up challenge. Schalke has won only six of its 22 league games so far and languishes in 14th place in the 18-team standings. It could yet be drawn into a relegation fight before the season is out. The contrast could hardly be greater. City, in its Premier League title defense, is ahead of Liverpool at the top on goal difference. Coach Pep Guardiola had the luxury of resting some leading players on Saturday for the FA Cup win over fourth-tier side Newport. Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva were not summoned from the bench and Sergio Aguero had the afternoon off entirely. The team was back in training on Sunday ahead of the trip to Germany. A European trophy has eluded City since the Abu Dhabi takeover 11 years ago, with the semifinals the furthest the team has progressed in the Champions League. ___ Rob Harris, Daniella Matar, Tales Azzoni and Jerome Pugmire contributed. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe said in an interview that aired Sunday that a 'crime may have been committed' when President Donald Trump fired the head of the FBI and tried to publicly undermine an investigation into his campaign's ties to Russia. McCabe also said in the interview with '60 Minutes' that the FBI had good reason to open a counterintelligence investigation into whether Trump was in league with Russia, and therefore a possible national security threat, following the May 2017 firing of then-FBI Director James Comey. 'And the idea is, if the president committed obstruction of justice, fired the director of the of the FBI to negatively impact or to shut down our investigation of Russia's malign activity and possibly in support of his campaign, as a counterintelligence investigator you have to ask yourself, 'Why would a president of the United States do that?' McCabe said. He added: 'So all those same sorts of facts cause us to wonder is there an inappropriate relationship, a connection between this president and our most fearsome enemy, the government of Russia?' Asked whether Rosenstein was onboard with the obstruction and counterintelligence investigations, McCabe replied, 'Absolutely.' A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment Sunday night. McCabe also revealed that when Trump told Rosenstein to put in writing his concerns with Comey — a document the White House initially cited as justification for his firing — the president explicitly asked the Justice Department official to reference Russia in the memo. Rosenstein did not want to, McCabe said, and the memo that was made public upon Comey's dismissal did not mention Russia and focused instead on Comey's handling of the Hillary Clinton email server investigation. 'He explained to the president that he did not need Russia in his memo. And the president responded, 'I understand that, I am asking you to put Russia in the memo anyway.' Trump said in a TV interview days after Comey's firing that he was thinking of 'this Russia thing' when he fired Comey. Those actions, including a separate request by the president that the FBI end an investigation into his first national adviser, Michael Flynn, made the FBI concerned that Trump was illegally trying to obstruct the investigation. 'Put together, these circumstances were articulable facts that indicated that a crime may have been committed,' McCabe said. 'The president may have been engaged in obstruction of justice in the firing of Jim Comey.' McCabe was fired from the Justice Department last year after being accused of misleading investigators during an internal probe into a news media disclosure. The allegation was referred to the U.S. Attorney's office in Washington for possible prosecution, but no charges have been brought. McCabe has denied having intentionally lied and said Sunday that he believes his firing was politically motivated. 'I believe I was fired because I opened a case against the president of the United States,' he said. In the interview Sunday, McCabe also said Rosenstein in the days after Comey's firing had proposed wearing a wire to secretly record the president. McCabe said he took the remark seriously, though the Justice Department last Septemeber — responding last September to a New York Times report that first revealed the conversation — issued a statement from an official who was in the room and interpreted the remark as sarcastic. McCabe said the remark was made during a conversation about why Trump had fired Comey.' 'And in the context of that conversation, the deputy attorney general offered to wear a wire into the White House. He said, 'I never get searched when I go into the White House. I could easily wear a recording device. They wouldn't know it was there,' McCabe said, In excerpts released last week by CBS News, McCabe also described a conversation in which Rosenstein had raised the idea invoking the Constitution to remove Trump from office. The Justice Department says Rosenstein does not see cause to seek the removal of the president.
  • LJ Figueroa scored 22 points and St. John's rallied from a 14-point deficit in the second half to stun No. 13 Villanova 71-65 on Sunday night. The Red Storm (19-7, 7-6 Big East) were down 48-34 with 12:30 left. St. John's scored 20 of the next 25 points to take its first lead on Figueroa's 3-pointer from the corner that brought the sellout crowd at Madison Square Garden to its feet. During that run, Villanova coach Jay Wright was hit with a technical foul for arguing a call. The teams traded the lead over the next few minutes before Figueroa hit another 3-pointer that gave the Red Storm a 58-57 advantage with 3:12 left that started an 8-0 run. The Red Storm led 63-57 with 50 seconds left when Villanova's Phil Booth was fouled shooting a 3-pointer. He made 2 of 3 free throws to get the Wildcats within four. That's as close as they could get as St. John's converted its free throws down the stretch. The win snapped a 12-game losing streak for St. John's against Villanova at Madison Square Garden dating back 17 years. Joe Cremo scored 14 points to lead Villanova (20-6, 11-2) while Eric Paschall added 11 points and 14 rebounds. The game was a little bit of revenge for the Red Storm, who lost to Villanova by five after blowing an 11-point second-half lead on Jan. 8. The Wildcats jumped all over the Red Storm early on, outscoring them 29-10 over the first 12 minutes. During that stretch, the Red Storm went without a basket for 7:39. The lead ballooned from seven to 19 in that spurt which was capped by Paschall's 3-pointer with 8:50 left in the half. Shamorie Ponds finally ended the drought with a putback with 5:58 left before intermission. St. John's scored the final six points of the half, closing to within 11 when Simon banked in a 3-pointer just before the buzzer from the opposite 3-point line that made it 37-26. It was the only 3-pointer of the half for St. John's, which had missed its first nine attempts from beyond the arc. TIP-INS: Ponds had 11 points on 2-of-13 shooting. ... The 26 points was the lowest that St. John's has scored in the first half this season, surpassing the 27 points the team had against Butler. ... Marvin Clark II hit a 3-pointer to start the second half and cross the 1,000-point career mark. It was his first basket of the game. ... St. John's is 3-1 this season in the conference against the top two teams — Marquette and Villanova. UP NEXT: Villanova: At Georgetown on Wednesday. St. John's: At Providence on Wednesday. ___ More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
  • Actress Julia Roberts will be this year's recipient of the George Eastman Award, given to honor contributions to the art of cinema. The George Eastman Museum in Rochester says it will honor the 'Pretty Woman' and 'Steel Magnolias' actress on May 2. Past recipients include Lauren Bacall, Charlie Chaplin, Gary Cooper and Meryl Streep. Museum director Bruce Barnes cites the breadth of Roberts' career and roles over the past 30 years. She has earned a best actress Academy Award and three Golden Globes, along with more than a dozen other nominations. The museum says it established the George Eastman Award in 1955 as the first retrospective award to honor film work of enduring artistic value. Tickets for the May ceremony go on sale March 18.
  • A man who shot and killed four people he held hostage in a Mississippi home has died from gunshot wounds he received during the 12-hour standoff, authorities said Sunday. Two small children were released unharmed from the home in Clinton several hours after the standoff began, police said. Not long afterward, TV cameras captured the sounds of a barrage of gunfire. Police used a battering ram to force their way into the house and found four people dead and the suspect wounded, authorities said. Nam Le, 34, later died from his wounds at a hospital, said Hinds County Coroner Sharon Gresham Stewart. The standoff began around 2:30 a.m. Saturday when officers checking on a domestic call were fired upon, according to authorities. The suspect went back inside the home and refused to come out, authorities said. Officers fired shots during the standoff, but a statement from Mississippi Public Safety Department spokesman Capt. John Poulos did not say if Le shot himself or was wounded by officers. 'When our officers arrived, they received fire from the suspect. The suspect then retreated into his home, and it is with a saddened heart that I report multiple fatalities,' Clinton Police Chief Ford Hayman was quoted afterward as telling broadcast outlet WAPT. Stewart told WAPT that all four killed in the home were shot multiple times. The coroner identified the four killed in the home as 30-year-old Lan Thi My Van, 28-year-old Le Thi My Van, 65-year-old Cho Thi Van, and Phung Minh Le, local broadcast stations reported. Stewart did not immediately specify the relationships among them. Authorities have not given any further details about the domestic disturbance call that preceded the standoff. Police tape still surrounded the one-story house Sunday afternoon. Several windows and the front door appeared to be blown out. The house is in a large subdivision in Clinton that backs up to the Nachez Trace Parkway, about 10 miles (16 kilometers) west of Jackson. The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation said Sunday that it is investigating what it called an officer-involved shooting. Its statement said a crime scene unit and agents of that state law enforcement agency were gathering evidence and that the findings of the investigation would be presented to the corresponding District Attorney's office for review.
  • Mike Moustakas and the Brewers are nearing a deal that would keep the third baseman in Milwaukee for a guarantee of about $10 million, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Sunday because the agreement will be subject to a successful physical. The sides were negotiating a deal that would include a club option for 2020, the person said. Talks toward a deal were first reported by The Athletic. Moustakas' deal would be his second in a row for one guaranteed year on the free-agent market. He rejected a $17.4 million qualifying offer from Kansas City after the 2017 season and returned to the Royals in mid-March for a one-year contract that included a guaranteed $6.5 million: a $5.5 million salary and $1 million option buyout. Moustakas earned an additional $2.2 million in performance bonuses based on plate appearances, raising his total earnings for 2018 to $8.7 million. Moustakas hit .256 with eight homers and 33 RBIs in 54 games for Milwaukee, which acquired him from the last-place Royals on July 27. A 30-year-old left-handed hitter, Moustakas had a .251 average overall with 28 homers and 95 RBIs last year. Part of the core that led the 2015 Royals to the team's first World Series title in 30 years, Moustakas hit a franchise-record 38 home runs in 2017. After re-signing last March, he hit 20 home runs in 98 games and then was dealt to the Brewers for outfielder Brett Phillips and right-handed pitcher Jorge Lopez. Moustakas hit .400 (8 for 40) but had no homers and three RBIs in the Division Series against Colorado and the League Championship Series against the Los Angeles. After the season, he joined Milwaukee's Ryan Braun and Christian Yelich, fellow southern Californians, to sponsor relief efforts following wildfires in the area. 'Obviously, he was a great addition to this team last year in the second half after the deadline,' Yelich said. 'He's a great player, a great clubhouse guy, and he definitely helped us on the field.' ___ AP freelance writer Andrew Wagner in Phoenix contributed to this report. ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports