Montpellier Nears French Soccer Title; Juventus Goes Unbeaten
Montpellier defeated Lille 1-0 on an stoppage-time goal to move to within a point of winning its first French league soccer championship. Juventus finished unbeaten in Italy’s Serie A this season by beating Atalanta 3-1.
Karim Ait-Fana scored in the 94th minute to give Montpellier the home win last night and preserve his team’s three-point lead over Paris Saint-Germain, which beat Rennes 3-0 as Nene got all the goals.
The final round of Ligue 1 games is scheduled May 20, when Montpellier can clinch the championship by avoiding defeat at last-place Auxerre. PSG visits Lorient in its final match.
“Clearly it will be difficult to win the title, but it’s not over yet,” PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti said on his team’s website. “We still have a small chance and we’ll do all we can to seize it.”
Serie A champion Juventus had the first unbeaten campaign in Italy’s top league since AC Milan in 1992, with Alessandro Del Piero scoring on his final league appearance for the club.
Luca Marrone and Andrea Barzagli also got goals yesterday as Juventus finished four points ahead of second-place AC Milan, which beat Novara 2-1.
Juventus can claim the domestic league and cup double if it beats Napoli in next weekend’s Coppa Italia final.
Udinese won 2-0 at Catania to finish third and secure a spot in next season’s Champions League. Lazio finished a place back after beating Inter Milan 3-1, while Lecce was relegated after a 1-0 defeat at Chievo.
Spanish champion Real Madrid beat Mallorca 4-1 to become the first La Liga team to finish a top-flight season with 100 points. Mesut Ozil scored twice after goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema put Real 2-0 up.
Malaga secured a Champions League berth by finishing fourth after a 1-0 home win against Sporting Gijon, which was relegated along with Villarreal, whose 14-year stay in the elite division ended following a 1-0 loss to Atletico Madrid.
Bundesliga champion Borussia Dortmund defeated Bayern Munich 5-2 in the German Cup final two days ago to claim its first domestic double. Robert Lewandowski got a hat trick for Dortmund.
Two days ago, Galatasaray secured its 19th Turkish title after a 0-0 tie against local rival Fenerbahce. Yesterday, Salzburg won the Austrian league following a 5-1 win against Wiener Neustadt.
WEEKEND RESULTS =============== Italy: AC Milan 2-1 Novara, Fiorentina 0-0 Cagliari, Juventus 3-1 Atalanta, Cesena 2-3 Roma, Parma 1-0 Bologna, Catania 0-2 Udinese, Chievo 1-0 Lecce, Genoa 2-0 Palermo, Lazio 3-1 Inter Milan, Napoli 2-1 Siena. Spain: Real Sociedad 1-0 Valencia, Real Betis 2-2 Barcelona, Espanyol 1-1 Sevilla, Getafe 0-2 Real Zaragoza, Levante 3-0 Athletic Bilbao, Malaga 1-0 Sporting Gijon, Racing Santander 2-4 Osasuna, Rayo Vallecano 1-0 Granada, Real Madrid 4-1 Real Mallorca, Villarreal 0-1 Atletico Madrid. France: Ajaccio 1-1 Lyon, Bordeaux 1-0 Lorient, Brest 1-0 Valenciennes, Caen 1-3 Sochaux, Dijon 1-1 Toulouse, Marseille 3-0 Auxerre, Montpellier 1-0 Lille, Nancy 3-2 St Etienne, Nice 1-1 Evian, Paris Saint-Germain 3-0 Rennes.