Real Madrid beat Sevilla 3-0 to move to the brink of a record-extending 32nd Spanish league soccer title. Paris Saint-Germain lost 2-1 at Lille in France to drop five points behind leader Montpellier.
In Madrid yesterday, Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring in the 19th minute and Karim Benzema added two more goals for the home team early in the second half. Real now has 91 points, a lead of seven over Barcelona, with three games left.
“It was an important win and the team deserves to be champions as the players have shown their mentality and character,” Real assistant coach Aitor Karanka said.
Real, which was ousted from Europe’s Champions League by Bayern Munich last week, lifted its goal tally this season to a league record 112.
Barcelona moved to 104 league goals for the season with a 7-0 rout of Rayo Vallecano. Lionel Messi and Pedro Rodriguez each got two goals, while Seydou Keita and Thiago Alcantara scored and Rober had an own goal as Barcelona rebounded from losses to Real in the league and Chelsea in the Champions League. Messi and Ronaldo each have 43 league goals this season.
Real, whose manager Jose Mourinho has previously won league titles in Portugal, England and Italy, has finished second to Barcelona for the past three seasons.
Third-place Valencia lost 1-0 to Malaga, with the pair even on 55 points. Valencia retained third place on goal difference.
In Italy’s Serie A, Juventus won 4-0 at Novara to maintain its three-point lead over AC Milan, which won 4-1 at Siena.
A Mirko Vucinic double and goals from Marco Borriello and Arturo Vidal helped put unbeaten Juventus, which has a better head-to-head record against Milan, on 77 points with three matches left.
Napoli, Udinese, Inter Milan and Lazio all have 55 points and occupy positions 3-6 following the weekend’s results.
In France, 10-man PSG gave up two goals in eight minutes yesterday to lose at Lille, which closed the gap to the Paris club to two points with four matches remaining. Leader Montpellier won 1-0 at Toulouse on April 27.
Nolan Roux’s introduction as a 69th-minute substitute turned the match Lille’s way after Javier Pastore put PSG 1-0 up. Roux was fouled in the area by Mamadou Sakho, who was shown the red card, and Eden Hazard converted the penalty kick in the 71st minute. Roux then got the winning goal from close range.
In the Netherlands, Ajax moved closer to a 31st league title with a 2-1 victory at FC Twente. The Amsterdam-based club has a six-point lead with two games left in the season, and can clinch the championship with another point.
In Germany, Borussia Dortmund won 5-2 at Kaiserslautern a week after sealing the Bundesliga title. Second-placed Bayern Munich beat Stuttgart 2-0 at home, while Schalke will compete in the Champions League group stage next season after guaranteeing third place with a 4-0 win against Hertha Berlin.
Porto secured its 26th Portuguese league championship yesterday after second-place Benfica’s drew 2-2 at Rio Ave left it six points clear with two games left. Porto is assured of the title because of its better head-to-head record against Benfica.
*T WEEKEND RESULTS =============== Italy: Udinese 2-0 Lazio; Novara 0-4 Juventus; Siena 1-4 Milan; Lecce 1-2 Parma; Inter Milan 2-1 Cesena; Atalanta 2-0 Fiorentina; Bologna 3-2 Genoa; Roma 2-2 Napoli; Palermo 1-1 Catania; Cagliari 0-0 Chievo.
France: Toulouse 0-1 Montpellier; Lorient 2-1 Marseille; Rennes 3-1 Ajaccio; Valenciennes 2-0 Nice; St. Etienne 1-0 Dijon; Nancy 1-1 Caen; Sochaux 0-3 Bordeaux; Auxerre 4-0 Brest; Lille 2-1 PSG.
Spain: Rayo Vallecano 0-7 Barcelona; Betis 2-2 Atletico Madrid; Malaga 1-0 Valencia; Zaragoza 2-0 Athletic Bilbao; Real Madrid 3-0 Sevilla; Villarreal 1-1 Osasuna; Getafe 1-3 Mallorca; Real Sociedad 3-0 Racing; Espanyol 0-3 Sporting Gijon; Levante 3-1 Granada.
Germany: Kaiserslautern 2-5 Borussia Dortmund; Wolfsburg 3-1 Werder Bremen; Bayer Leverkusen 1-0 Hanover; Hamburg 0-0 Mainz; Hoffenheim 2-3 Nuremberg; Bayern Munich 2-0 VfB Stuttgart; Freiburg 4-1 Cologne; Borussia Moenchengladbach 0-0 Augsburg; Schalke 4-0 Hertha Berlin.
Netherlands: Groningen 1-1 De Graafschap; Feyenoord 1-0 AZ; NEC 1-1 RKC; Roda 1-3 PSV; FC Twente 1-2 Ajax; Heracles 2-4 Heerenveen; Utrecht 1-3 NAC; Vitesse 3-2 Rotterdam; Venlo 2-1 Den Haag.