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Chelsea close gap, Bayern extend lead
April 07, 2008 12:28 IST
Ten-man Bayern Munich took a major step closer to their 21st league title in Germany when they fought back from a goal down to beat VfL Bochum 3-1 on Sunday and move nine points clear in the Bundesliga.
Manchester United's lead in England was cut to three points when they could only play out a 2-2 draw against Middlesbrough while Chelsea won 2-0 at Manchester City.
Following is a round-up of weekend action in the main European leagues:
Bayern Munich moved nine points clear with seven games left to play when they recovered from twin setbacks to win 3-1 at home to VfL Bochum on Sunday.
Bayern went behind in the fourth minute when Mimoun Azaouagh fired in from 25 metres. Their situation got worse when Mark van Bommel was red-carded in the 27th minute but goals from Lucio, Franck Ribery (a penalty) and Christian Lell saw them home.
They have 57 points from 27 games and look all but certain to claim a 21st league title.
Schalke move up to second place on 48 points after their 1-0 win at home to Hansa Rostock saw them take advantage of Hamburg SV's 1-0 defeat away to resurgent VfB Stuttgart the same day.
Hamburg are third on 47, ahead of Werder Bremen on goal difference after their 2-1 win at Hertha Berlin. Stuttgart, last season's champions, climb to fifth on 45, with Bayer Leverkusen sixth on 44 after a last-gasp 2-1 defeat at Borussia Dortmund.
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Inter Milan remained four points clear of AS Roma with six games left after both won in contrasting circumstances.
Roma threw away a two-goal lead at home to Genoa before Daniele De Rossi's penalty 10 minutes from time sealed a 3-2 win.
Inter had less trouble, winning 2-0 at Atalanta thanks to goals from Patrick Viera and Mario Balotelli.
Third-placed Juventus lost 3-2 at Palermo in one of the games of the season while Fiorentina stay as favourites for the final Champions League spot after defeating bottom side Reggina 2-0.
AC Milan beat strugglers Cagliari 3-1, with fit-again Filippo Inzaghi scoring twice, but they are running out of time to snatch fourth place.
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The Premier League title race remains too close to call with five games remaining after another fascinating weekend.
Manchester United remain in pole position on 77 points after an action-packed 2-2 draw at Middlesbrough where Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 37th goal of the season.
Chelsea are now only three points behind after they huffed their way to a 2-0 win at Manchester City but Arsenal have dropped six points off the lead after a 1-1 home draw with Liverpool, who they face again next week in the Champions League.
United host Arsenal next week and still have to visit Chelsea.
Everton beat Derby County 1-0 to close back to within three points of Liverpool in the battle for fourth place.
After a spectacularly exciting FA Cup season the two semi-finals at Wembley were both dull affairs. Portsmouth, the only remaining Premier League club, beat West Bromwich Albion 1-0 to set up a May 17 final against Championship (second division) Cardiff City after they beat Barnsley, also 1-0.
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Timmy Simons and Jefferson Farfan scored a goal in each half to earn PSV Eindhoven a 2-0 home victory over Heracles Almelo and put them in pole position for a fourth successive title as they enjoy a five-point lead with two matches remaining.
PSV could have secured their title on Sunday if Ajax dropped points at home against Graafschap Doetinchem though Klaas Jan Huntelaar registered a first half hat-trick in a 4-1 win to postpone the celebrations.
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Barcelona and Villarreal failed to put the pressure on leaders Real Madrid as they dropped points in the Primera Liga on Sunday.
Real Mallorca had held the champions to a 1-1 draw on Saturday but Frank Rijkaard's Barcelona side drew 0-0 at home to UEFA Cup quarter-finalists Getafe, while Villarreal's nine-game unbeaten run ended with a 2-0 defeat away to Sevilla.
Real have 66 points, and are seven clear of Villarreal and Barcelona tied in second and third respectively on 59 points, with seven games left to play.
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Two goals in two minutes from Djibril Cisse and Mamadou Niang helped Olympique Marseille defeat Ligue 1 leaders Olympique Lyon 3-1 on Sunday.
It was Marseille's first victory at the Stade Velodrome over the six times French champions since September 1997. Marseille, who won 2-1 at Lyon earlier this season, also became the first side in this campaign to pick up six points against Lyon.
With six matches left, the result cut Lyon's lead to six points over Girondins Bordeaux, who won 2-0 at Stade Rennes on Saturday.
Marseille stay fourth three points adrift of AS Nancy who kept the ticket to the Champions League qualifying round with a 1-0 home win over relegation-threatened Paris St Germain on Sunday.