Juventus, PSG Move Closer to Domestic Soccer Titles With Wins
Juventus moved a step closer to back-to-back Italian league soccer titles with a 1-0 win against AC Milan. Paris Saint-Germain defeated Nice 3-0 to stay on track for its first French championship in 19 years.
Arturo Vidal’s second-half penalty kick in Turin last night sealed the victory that leaves Juve needing four points from its last five games to win a record-extending 29th Serie A title.
Juventus has 77 points atop the standings, 11 more than second-place Napoli, and could clinch the Scudetto as early as next weekend if it beats local rival Torino and Napoli fails to beat to last-place Pescara.
“We still need four points so we just have to keep going,” Vidal said on Juve’s website. “Next Sunday we’ve got the derby against Torino and we have to prepare well for it.”
Napoli needed a stoppage-time winner from Lorenzo Insigne to win 3-2 at home against Cagliari yesterday. Fiorentina moved to within a point of third-place AC Milan as Brazilian midfielder Romulo scored in the 86th minute to seal a 4-3 win over Torino.
Goals by Jeremy Menez, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Clement Chantome restored PSG’s nine-point cushion atop France’s Ligue 1 with five games remaining. Second-place Marseille overcame Brest by a solitary goal two days ago, while Lyon is third after a 2-1 win at Montpellier on April 19.
Ibrahimovic’s 65th-minute penalty kick made him the first player since Jean-Pierre Papin in 1991-92 to score 27 goals in a French top-flight season, according to Infostrada Sports.
“Without my teammates I wouldn’t have been able to score as much this season,” Ibrahimovic said on PSG’s website. “If I can help my team win while breaking records, it doesn’t get much better.”
Champions League Tuneups
In Spain, Radamel Falcao scored his 25th La Liga goal of the season as Atletico Madrid won 1-0 at Sevilla last night to move 13 points clear of fourth-place Real Sociedad, which drew 0-0 with Osasuna.
Two days ago, leader Barcelona and second-place Real Madrid tuned up for their Champions League semifinal openers against German clubs this week with wins. Barca beat Levante 1-0 to keep its 13-point advantage over Real, which had a 3-1 victory against Real Betis. There are six games remaining.
Barca visits Bayern Munich tomorrow to open their two-match semifinal in Europe’s elite club competition, with Borussia Dortmund hosting Real Madrid the following day.
Bayern, which clinched its 23rd German league championship earlier this month, routed Hannover 6-1 two days ago. Dortmund beat Mainz 2-0 to stay 20 points behind the Bundesliga leader.
In the Dutch league, Feyenoord beat Vitesse Arnhem 2-0 yesterday. Also this weekend, PSV Eindhoven won 3-1 at AZ Alkmaar and Ajax drew 1-1 with Heerenveen.
Ajax leads with 67 points, ahead of PSV and Feyenoord, who both have 63.