Feature:

Glory for Juve, Ajax, Galatasaray and Botafogo

Juventus claimed their second successive this weekend as they beat Palermo 1-0 at home.

That win meant that they finally secured the league crown they had seemingly won long ago. Napoli in second remain on course for the Champions League following a 3-1 win over Inter Milan. AC Milan beat Torino 1-0 to solidify their grip on third. Roma beat Fiorentina 1-0 away to bolster their European chances whilst dashing the Champions League hopes of their former ideal, Viola coach Vincenzo Montella. Lazio crushed Bologna 6-0 and Udinese beat Sampdoria 3-1 as the race for Europe heats up in Italy.

In Turkey Galatasaray won their 19th league title as they overcame Sivasspor 4-2 at home. That result combined with Fenerbahce losing 2-0 to Buyuksehir Bld. Spor meant that the Istanbul giants retained their league title.

There was also glory for Ajax this weekend. PSV beat NEC Nijmenen 4-2 but it was not enough to prevent Ajax winning the title in the Netherlands after they crushed Willem II 5-0 at home. Botafogo were another team celebrating at the weekend as their 1-0 win over Fluminense wrapped up the Carioca state championship for the teams of Rio de Janeiro. Elsewhere in Brazil Corinthians made it to the final of the Sao Paulo state championship after beat Sao Paulo on penalties. Santos beat Mogi Mirim on penalties too, as they progress to face Corinthians in the final.

Barcelona were made to wait for their title win in Spain this weekend. Real Madrid beat Real Valladolid 4-3, meaning Barcelona’s 4-2 win over Real Betis was not enough to secure the title just yet. Atletico Madrid drew 0-0 at Deportivo la Coruna and remain comfortable in third. Behind them are Real Sociedad still, who play Getafe on Monday but are also secure in their position in spite of Valencia’s 4-0 win over Osasuna. Malaga’s hopes of the Champions League are hanging by a thread after a 1-0 defeat at Granada.

In France Paris St Germain passed up the chance to win the title as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Valenciennes. Marseille’s 2-1 win over Bastia meant the Parisians had to win to secure the title this weekend – they can win it at Lyon next week though. Olympique Lyon won 3-0 at Nancy to tighten their grip on third place, whilst St Etienne lost ground after being held 0-0 by Bordeaux. Nice won 3-0 at Rennes to continue their startling campaign. Montpellier beat Brest 2-1 and Lille lost 4-2 at Toulouse.

In the Bundesliga this weekend Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich warmed up for their Champions League final later this month with a fiery 1-1 draw. Further down the league Bayer Leverkusen remain strong in third after beating Nurnberg 2-0, and Schalke hold onto fourth after a 1-0 win at Borussia Moenchengladbach. Eintracht Frankfurt beat Fortuna Dusseldorf 3-1, and Hamburg drew 1-1 with Wolfsburg. Freiburg beat Augsburg 2-0.

In the Premier League champions Manchester United lost 1-0 at home to Chelsea, who tightened their grip on third place. Manchester City in second drew 0-0 at Swansea. Arsenal remain fourth after beating QPR 1-0, and Tottenham won by the same score against Southampton. Liverpool and Everton drew 0-0 in the derby.

In Portugal Porto beat Nacional 3-1 to continue their unbeaten season and pile pressure on also unbeaten leaders Benfica ahead of their Monday night game. In Russia CSKA Moscow beat Terek Grozny 1-0 to keep up their pursuit of the title, with Zenit behind them beating Alania Vladivavkaz 4-0. Anzhi Makhachkala beat Rubin Kazan 2-1.

Across the Atlantic there was trouble in the big Buenos Aires derby between River Plate and Boca Juniors, which finished 1-1. River lost the chance to close the gap on Newell’s Old Boys, who play at Arsenal on Monday. Tigre lost 2-0 to Independiente. Atletico Rafaela also beat San Martin 2-1 this weekend.

In the United States LA Galaxy were beaten 1-0 by Houston Dynamo, whilst Chivas USA lost 4-0 to Sporting Kansas.


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