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Rangers Take Scottish Title for 53rd Time; Juve Wins in Italy

April 25 (Bloomberg) -- Rangers won 1-0 at Hibernian today to claim Scottish soccer’s league championship for a record-extending 53rd time.

Kyle Lafferty got the only goal for the Gers, who also took the title last season. The club last secured back-to-back league titles in the 1998-99 and 1999-2000 seasons.

Rangers lead archrival Celtic -- the only other team to win the title since 1986 -- by 11 points with three matches left.

In Italy’s Serie A, AC Milan lost ground with a 3-1 defeat at Palermo yesterday, while Inter Milan beat Atalanta 3-1. Inter has 73 points, Roma 71 and AC Milan 64. Juventus had a 3-0 win over Bari today to move up a place to sixth. Roma hosts Sampdoria in the late game.

In Spain, Barcelona beat Xerez 3-1 yesterday while Real Madrid won 2-1 at Real Zaragoza. Barca has 87 points, a point ahead of Real. Valencia is 24 points further back.

Schalke drew level on points with leader Bayern Munich in Germany yesterday with a 1-0 win at Hertha Berlin. Bayern drew 1-1 at Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Auxerre kept alive its hopes of a French league title with a 3-0 win at Toulouse today. Marseille can restore a five-point lead with a home win over St. Etienne in the late game.

There was no Dutch league program this weekend. The final round of games takes place in a week’s time. A win at NAC Breda would guarantee FC Twente the title.

In the first leg of the Dutch Cup final, Ajax had a 2-0 home win over Feyenoord. The second game is on May 6 at Feyenoord. The final is being staged over two games, with away fans excluded, to try to avoid crowd trouble.

WEEKEND MATCHES =============== Italy: Inter Milan 3-1 Atalanta; Palermo 3-1 AC Milan; Bologna 2-1 Parma; Fiorentina 0-2 Chievo; Genoa 1-2 Lazio; Juventus 3-0 Bari; Livorno 3-1 Catania; Napoli 0-0 Cagliari; Udinese 4-1 Siena. Late game: Roma vs Sampdoria.

Spain: Barcelona 3-1 Xerez; Real Zaragoza 1-2 Real Madrid; Valencia 1-0 Deportivo La Coruna; Almeria 0-1 Espanyol; Atletico Madrid 3-1 Tenerife; Mallorca 1-1 Malaga; Racing Santander 1-2 Villarreal; Sporting Gijon 0-2 Valladolid. Late match: Getafe vs Sevilla. Tomorrow: Osasuna vs Athletic Bilbao.

Germany: Bochum 0-2 Stuttgart; Bayer Leverkusen 3-0 Hannover; Borussia Moenchengladbach 1-1 Bayern Munich; Hertha Berlin 0-1 Schalke; Mainz 3-3 Eintracht Frankfurt; Nuremberg 2-3 Borussia Dortmund; Werder Bremen 1-0 Cologne; Freiburg 1-0 Wolfsburg; Hoffenheim 5-1 Hamburg.

France: Nancy 0-0 Montpellier; Le Mans 1-2 Lille; Lorient 1-0 Bordeaux; Nice 2-1 Grenoble; PSG 1-1 Rennes; Sochaux 0-3 Boulogne; Lens 1-1 Valenciennes; Toulouse 0-3 Auxerre. Late match: Marseille vs St. Etienne.

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter-Joseph Hegarty in London at phegarty@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net.

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