Napoli Stays in Serie A Title Hunt; Atletico Slips Back in SpainPeter-Joseph Hegarty
Napoli beat Genoa 2-0 to close the gap to Italian Serie A soccer leader Juventus to nine points, while nine-man Atletico Madrid lost ground on the top two in Spain with a 0-0 draw at Getafe.
First-half goals by Goran Pandev and Blerim Dzemaili gave Napoli the home win last night to open up a four-point cushion on AC Milan. Defending champion Juventus leads with 71 points with seven games remaining after Mirko Vucinic scored twice in a 2-1 win against Pescara two days ago.
Earlier yesterday, third-place AC Milan drew 2-2 at 10-man Fiorentina, which scored late penalties through Adem Ljajic and David Pizarro. Nenad Tomovic was red-carded six minutes before halftime for elbowing Stephan El Shaarawy.
Inter Milan’s push for a place in next season’s Champions League was checked by a 4-3 home loss to Atalanta in which it blew a 3-1 lead with 29 minutes remaining. Sixth-place Inter has 50 points, two behind fourth-place Fiorentina.
In Spain, Atletico Madrid lost Mario Suarez and Diego Godin to red cards in its scoreless draw at Getafe and now trails local rival Real Madrid by three points with eight games left.
Two days ago, leader Barcelona beat Real Mallorca 5-0 and Real Madrid defeated Levante 5-1. Barca has 78 points, Real 65 and Atletico 62.
Bayern Munich clinched its 23rd German league championship two days ago with a 1-0 victory at Eintracht Frankfurt. Bastian Schweinsteiger scored in the 52nd minute of Bayern’s 11th straight win.
Borussia Dortmund, the title-winner for the past two years, defeated Augsburg 4-2 to remain in second place, 20 points behind Bayern.
In France, third-place Saint-Etienne defeated Evian 1-0 yesterday to move into third place ahead of Lyon, which lost 1-0 at Reims. Lille routed Lorient 5-0 last night.
In other weekend games, leader Paris Saint-Germain had a 2-0 win at Rennes to stay seven points ahead of second-place Marseille, which beat Bordeaux 1-0.
In the Dutch league, Ajax kept a three-point lead atop the standings after a 4-0 win against Heracles. PSV Eindhoven won 3-1 at Willem II and Vitesse Arnhem had a 3-0 victory against NAC Breda. Ajax has 63 points, with PSV and Vitesse on 60.