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Malaga Misses Chance to Go Third in Spain; Italy Mourns Morosini

Malaga missed a chance to take third spot in Spanish soccer’s La Liga after drawing 1-1 with Real Sociedad. All weekend matches in Italy’s Serie A were postponed following the death of a player.

Fourth-place Malaga moves to 51 points, one behind Valencia, which lost 4-0 at Espanyol yesterday for a first defeat in four matches. Levante is another three points back with five games left.

Real Madrid maintained its four-point lead over Barcelona atop the standings before their meeting at the Camp Nou on April 21 after both teams won two days ago. Madrid defeated Sporting Gijon 3-1, while Barcelona beat Levante 2-1.

Lionel Messi got both goals for Barca, and Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo scored once to put both players on 41 goals in La Liga this campaign, a single-season record.

Piermario Morosini, a 25-year-old midfielder on loan at Serie B club Livorno from Udinese, died two days ago after suffering a cardiac arrest during a match against Pescara. The Italian Football Federation suspended all the weekend’s remaining matches.

“He was one of Udinese’s sons,” club President Gianpaolo Pozzo said on Udinese’s website. “This is a tragedy that needs to make us think.”

Morosini’s death came less than a month after Bolton’s Fabrice Muamba, 24, suffered a cardiac arrest during a F.A. Cup game in England. Muamba has since started walking again, manager Owen Coyle said April 5.

Eight-Point Lead

Borussia Dortmund holds an eight-point lead atop the Bundesliga with three matches left after second-place Bayern Munich was held to a scoreless tie by Mainz two days ago.

Dortmund, on a German league record run of 25 straight games unbeaten, won 2-1 at Ruhr rival Schalke and is on course to retain its title. Fourth-place Borussia Moenchengladbach is now one point behind Schalke following a 3-0 home win against Cologne yesterday.

Marseille won France’s League Cup for a third straight season after substitute Brandao scored in extra time to secure a 1-0 victory over Lyon two days ago.

In Ligue 1, Paris Saint-Germain was unable to take advantage of an earlier defeat for first-place Montpellier as it drew 1-1 at Auxerre last night. Montpellier lost 2-1 at Lorient and leads PSG by two points.

Lille, last season’s champion, beat Ajaccio 4-1 and is seven points off the lead in third position.

Defending champion Ajax holds a six-point advantage over AZ Alkmaar and Feyenoord in Dutch soccer’s Eredivisie following a 3-1 win against De Graafschap yesterday.

AZ lost 3-2 at PSV Eindhoven, while Feyenoord beat Excelsior 3-0 this weekend. FC Twente, PSV and Heerenveen are all one point further back.

Italy: All matches postponed.

Spain: Real Madrid 3-1 Sporting Gijon, Levante 1-2 Barcelona,
Espanyol 4-0 Valencia, Malaga 1-1 Real Sociedad, Real Betis 1-0
Osasuna, Real Zaragoza 1-0 Granada, Villarreal 1-1 Racing
Santander, Athletic Bilbao 1-0 Real Mallorca, Rayo Vallecano 0-1
Atletico Madrid. Today: Getafe vs Sevilla.

Germany: Stuttgart 4-1 Werder Bremen, Bayer Leverkusen 3-3
Hertha Berlin, Hamburg 1-0 Hannover, Kaiserslautern 0-2
Nurnberg, Schalke 1-2  Borussia Dortmund, Wolfsburg 1-2
Augsburg, Bayern Munich 0-0 Mainz, Borussia Moenchengladbach 3-0
Cologne, Freiburg 0-0 Hoffenheim.

France: Lille 4-1 AC Ajaccio, Lorient 2-1 Montpellier, Nancy 2-2
Bordeaux, Sochaux 1-0 Dijon, St Etienne 2-1 Brest, Valenciennes
0-3 Evian, Auxerre 1-1 Paris Saint-Germain. Today: Rennes vs

Netherlands: PSV Eindhoven 3-2 AZ Alkmaar, Feyenoord 3-0
Excelsior, NEC Nijmegen 2-4 Heerenveen, FC Twente 2-2 NAC Breda,
Groningen 0-1 Roda JC, Ajax 3-1 De Graafschap, FC Utrecht 4-2
VVV, Vitesse Arnhem 1-0 Den Haag, Heracles 1-1 RKC Waalwijk.

To contact the reporter on this story: James Cone in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at

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