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European Weekend Rewind: AC Milan champs, Man United on brink and more

RooneyChicharito (ISIPhotos.com)

By IAN HOLLIDAY

One European giant claimed its league's title this weekend, and two others moved closer to clinching their own domestic championships.

AC Milan claimed its first Scudetto since 2004 on Saturday in less-than thrilling fashion, playing to a scoreless draw at AS Roma. Robinho hit the post in the 46th minute for the best chance of the match, but the single point was all the Rossoneri needed to put the title out of reach of its rivals Inter, which won 3-1 over visiting Fiorentina.

Manchester United all but sealed its English record 19th title with a 2-1 victory over Chelsea on Sunday. The Red Devils have yet to mathematically clinch the top spot, but they need just one point from their final two matches to do so. After the match, Blues manager Carlo Ancelotti said United deserved the title.

In Spain, Barcelona continued its march toward a third straight La Liga title with a 2-0 win over Espanyol on Sunday, but Barca's title celebrations were put on hold for at least another week on Saturday when Real Madrid demolished Sevilla 6-2. Pep Guardiola's men can clinch the league with at least a point at Levante on Wednesday, or even sooner if Madrid falls to Getafe on Tuesday.

Borussia Dortmund claimed the German title last weekend, and this weekend decided the race for next year's UEFA Champions League. Bayern Munich will claim the Bundesliga's final spot after routing St. Pauli 8-1. The dream is over for Steve Cherundolo's Hannover 96 side, which was looking for its first ever qualification to the Champions League, but failed to keep pace with a 2-1 loss at VfB Stuttgart.

The only league title still in doubt is in France, where Lille have opened up a four-point lead with four matches to go after Lyon defeated Marseille 3-2 on Sunday.

Here is a rundown of all the weekend scores from Europe's top leagues:

ENGLAND

While the top of the Premier League table is all but finalized, there's still a fair amount of drama at the bottom. With two matches to go, all three teams currently occupying the relegation zone have a chance of surviving, though for last-placed West Ham, that chance is growing ever slimmer. Thomas Hitzlsperger drove home an equalizer in the 78th minute to give the Hammers a 1-1 draw against Blackburn and stave off relegation for another day. Wins in its last two matches may not even be enough to save the club, which faces relegation rivals Wigan next week.

Wolverhampton Wanderers 3, West Bromwich Albion 1

Stoke City 3, Arsenal 1

Manchester United 2, Chelsea 1

Aston Villa 1, Wigan Athletic 1

Bolton 1, Sunderland 2

Everton 2, Manchester City 1

Newcastle United 2, Birmingham City 1

West Ham United 1, Blackburn 1

Tottenham 1, Blackpool 1

Monday: Fulham v. Liverpool

SPAIN

The relegation picture in La Liga is much clearer than that of the Premier League. Last-placed Almeria are already assured of relegation, and second-to-last Hercules will need to win out to have a realistic chance of avoiding a similar fate. The league's final relegation place is not so clear-cut, however. Osasuna currently occupy the drop spot, but the club has a game in hand and a better goal differential over Deportivo la Coruna, its closest competition. Moreover, there are plenty of clubs that could take Osasuna's spot if results don't go their way. There are currently four clubs within three points of the relegation zone and another five within five points.

Mallorca 0, Villarreal 0

Barcelona 2, Espanyol 0

Real Zaragoza 1, Osasuna 3

Athletic Bilbao 3, Levante 2

Getafe 2, Almeria 0

Hercules 2, Racing Santander 3

Sporting Gijon 2, Deportivo la Coruna 2

Valencia 3, Real Sociedad 0

Atletico Madrid 0, Malaga 3

Sevilla 2, Real Madrid 6

ITALY

With only two weeks of matches left in Serie A, many of the league's relegation battles are over. Last-placed Bari has known its fate for weeks, and Brescia joined the club with a 2-1 loss to Catania on Sunday. Sampdoria currently occupies the final place in the drop zone with 36 points, but the club didn't do itself any favors with a 2-1 loss at Genoa, especially since its relegation rivals Lecce defeated Champions League-bound Napoli by the same scoreline.

Bologna 0, Parma 0

Brescia 1, Catania 2

Cagliari 0, Cesena 2

Inter Milan 3, Fiorentina 1

Lecce 2, Napoli 1

Udinese 2, Lazio 1

Genoa 2, Sampdoria 1

Palermo 2, Bari 1

AS Roma 0, AC Milan 0

Monday: Juventus vs. Chievo

GERMANY

There are only two guaranteed relegation places in the Bundesliga, and St. Pauli claimed one of them with its miserable performance against Bayern Munich on Saturday. The other one currently belongs to Eintracht Frankfurt, which is one point behind Borussia Moenchengladbach heading into the last week of the season. 'Gladbach is currently in line for a relegation playoff with a lower division side, but could manage to turn a season spent almost entirely at the bottom of the league table into one assured of safety with a win over Hamburg and a Wolfsburg loss.

Bayer Leverkusen 1, Hamburg 1

Borussia Moenchengladbach 2, SC Freiburg 0

Eintracht Frankfurt 0, FC Cologne 2

Nurnberg 1, Hoffenheim 2

Schalke 04 1, Mainz 05 3

St. Pauli 1, Bayern Munich 8

VfB Stuttgart 2, Hannover 96 1

VfL Wolfsburg 1, Kaiserslautern 2

Werder Bremen 2, Borusssia Dortmund 0

FRANCE

 Lyon's 3-2 home win over Marseille not only dented the visitors' chances of defending their Ligue 1 title, it also put the home side back into the driver's seat for France's third and final Champions League place. After claiming a 2-0 lead on goals from Lisandro Lopez in the first half and Cesar Delgado in the second, Lyon looked unlikely to hold on for three points as Marseille stormed back with two goals in eight minutes in the second half. It was Brazilian defender Cris who put the home side up for good with a volleyed effort in the 84th minute.

Valenciennes 2, Stade Rennes 0

Lyon 3, Marseille 2

AJ Auxerre 1, Montpellier 0

Arles 0, St. Etienne 1

AS Monaco 1, Paris St. Germain 1

Bordeaux 0, Sochaux 4

Brest 0, Nice 0

Caen 1, Lens 1

Lorient 0, Toulouse 0

AS Nancy Lorraine 0, Lille 1

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What did you think of this week's results? Impressed by Manchester United's dominance? Think any of the three as-yet undecided titles will fall to a challenger?

Comments

  1. chicharito is amazing for his first season. 20 goals in his first season. has a killer instinct good with headers and both legs. he can shoot from long range but the defenders dont allow him so he gets closer to the area to score,he has speed. The only flaw is that he is weak with the ball and lacks strenght but is nothing that cant be fix.

    Reply
  2. I agree Chelsea are not really completely finished, but the fact of the matter is that the players who used to be so dominant, Essien, Terry, Lampard, and Drogba, are getting old and aren’t getting better with age. I’m actually not sure how old Essien is, but he’s definitely tapered off. Luiz definitely has some great moments, but he is also unreliable defensively and has caused several goals this season with stupid defending. And Torres very well could have a great season coming up, but he looks completely washed up at the moment and it’ll take something amazing to get him going again. They are also extremely shallow in depth. Who else but United could bench two players from the EPL team of the season and dominate the second place team in the league? It will be very hard to rebuild Chelsea, and I personally doubt they can do it.

    Reply
  3. IVES, people say there tired of Chicharito’s pic on here but Im not… I would rather see him on the pic and far away from playing against the US… He scored just inside the 18yd line for those of you who say he only scores inside the 6yd box.

    Reply
  4. I wouldn’t be so quick to bury Chelsea’s future. David Luiz is an exciting player, I’ll bet Torres still has some great years left, and Chelsea can and will spend whatever they can to keep up with whomever. They’re probably going to finish second, so I wouldn’t call their season a huge failure…disappointing sure, but I’m sure they’ll contend again next season.

    By the way, this time last year we couldn’t stop hearing the whining of the United fans with their non-stop anti-Glazer stuff. I guess winning the league and getting to the CL final helps, but I wouldn’t so soon forget what a precarious financial position they’re in.

    Reply
  5. It must feel good to be a Chelsea fan. Your new “star” defender blows it in the first minute and gets subbed at half, and Torres, well, he can only score a goal against West Ham on a water-logged field. Not to mention the ref did everything he could to help Chelsea from being completely overrun by United. The future’s looking bright!

    Reply
  6. O/T but who would u put on a 4 man strike roster for the GC?

    Buddle?
    Agudelo?
    Altidore?
    Bunbury?
    Davies?
    Gomez?

    I have a feeling Bob will be going just with 4

    Reply
  7. It happens. EL ain’t nothing to laugh at considering how over the last few years his club was relegation fodder.

    His strong play and leadership should help him get an extension to his contract for 2013

    Reply

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