Top Stories

European Rewind: City’s thrilling title win, Juventus’ unbeaten season and more

AgueroTrophy (Getty Images)

By JOHN BOSCHINI

At the kickoff of Survival Sunday in England, most believed that Manchester City would be champions for the first time since 1968. What they couldn't have predicted, however, was the hysteria that was to follow over the next couple of hours.

Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero scored in second-half stoppage time to give Manchester City a thrilling 3-2 victory over Queens Park Rangers to capture the Premier League championship in heart-stopping fashion. Pablo Zabaleta had put City ahead in the first half and it looked to be all over but QPR turned in a heroic performance and took a 2-1 lead despite the sending off of Joey Barton. Dzeko headed in a corner to give City hope and Aguero took advantage of an exhausted and shorthanded QPR defense by pouncing on a loose ball and firing it past Paddy Kenny.

The jubilation felt around the Etihad Stadium was in stark contrast to the crushing disappointment felt by the traveling Manchester United fans at the Stadium of Light. The Red Devils beat Sunderland 1-0 and were moments away from their 20th league title when the news of City's result came through. Instead of celebrating as champions, the Red Devils were left empty-handed.

In Italy, Juventus concluded their Serie A season with a 3-1 over Atalanta and became the first team to finish a season unbeaten since the league expanded to 20 teams. Alessandro Del Piero bid farewell to the club after 19 years with a goal in the first half. After being subbed off at the hour mark, Del Piero acquiesced to the fans' request and embarked on a lap of honor before the game concluded.

Juventus still have a Coppa Italia final left to play against Napoli in Rome next weekend.

Here is a look back at all the results from a wild weekend around Europe:

ENGLAND

There won't be a fan base more apprehensive over the next week than the supporters of Tottenham Hotspur. Tottenham's 2-0 victory over Fulham coupled with Newcastle's loss to Everton puts Harry Redknapp's team in fourth place. Normally, that would be enough to earn a place in the Champions League next season, but if Chelsea win on Saturday in this season's UCL final, the Blues automatically qualify and only the top three league finishers will play in Europe's premiere competition next season. Arsenal's come-from-behind victory over West Bromwich Albion secured the Gunners a third-place finish and an automatic place in the Champions League. 

Bolton was unable to take advantage of QPR's late-game collapse and will play in the League Championship next season after a 2-2 draw with Stoke. Jon Walters equalized from the spot with 13 minutes left on the clock. Bolton needed a win in order to move past QPR into 17th place and avoid relegation.

PREMIER LEAGUE SCOREBOARD

Chelsea 2, Blackburn Rovers 1
Everton 3, Newcastle United 1
Manchester City 3, Queens Park Rangers 2
Norwich City 2, Aston Villa 0
Stoke City 2, Bolton Wanderers 2
Sunderland 0, Manchester United 1
Swansea City 1, Liverpool 0
Tottenham Hotspur 2, Fulham 0
West Bromwich Albion 2, Arsenal 3
Wigan Athletic 3, Wolverhampton Wanderers 2

CHAMPION: Manchester City

UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham/Chelsea

UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE: Newcastle (Tottenham as well if Chelsea wins UCL final)

RELEGATED: Bolton, Blackburn, Wolverhampton

SPAIN

The steep and rapid decline for Villarreal came to a heartbreaking conclusion on Sunday as a late goal saw the Yellow Submarine relegated for the first time in a decade. After starting the season in the Champions League, Villarreal's fate was sealed when Falcao scored in the 88th minute to give Atletico Madrid a 1-0 victory. The win wasn't enough to give Atletico fourth place, as Malaga's comfortable 1-0 victory saw them clinch a Champions League spot.

Real Zaragoza jumped to safety on the final day with a 2-0 victory over Getafe. Barcelona failed to send Pep Guardiola out with a victory in his final league game, but Lionel Messi did officially wrap up the La Liga scoring title with an astounding 50 goals on the season. 

Real Madrid capped off their tremendous season, coasting to a 4-1 victory over Mallorca to become the first team in league history to reach the 100-point plateau.

LA LIGA SCOREBOARD

Real Sociedad 1, Valencia 0
Real Betis 2, Barcelona 2
Espanyol 1, Sevilla FC 1
Getafe 0, Real Zaragoza 2
Levante 3, Athletic Bilbao 0
Malaga 1, Sporting Gijon 0
Racing Santander 2, Osasuna 4
Rayo Vallecano 1, Granada 0 
Real Madrid 4, Mallorca 1
Villarreal 0, Atletico Madrid 1

CHAMPION: Real Madrid

UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Real Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Malaga

UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE: Atletico Madrid, Levante

RELEGATED: Villarreal, Sporting Gijon, Racing Santander

ITALY

With the final month of the season highlighted by a furious fight for third place, Udinese emerged from the chaos to book a place in next season's Champions League. A 2-0 victory over Catania was enough to hold off Napoli's late season charge, while Lazio ended their season on a high note by beating Inter Milan, who will miss out on Europe altogether after finishing a forgettable season in sixth place.

Lecce was officially relegated to Serie B with a 1-0 loss to Chievo Verona.

SERIE A SCOREBOARD

AC Milan 2, Novara 1
Fiorentina 0, Cagliari 0
Juventus 3, Atalanta 1
Cesena 2, AS Roma 3
Parma 1, Bologna 0
Catania 0, Udinese 2
Chievo Verona 1, Lecce 0
Genoa 2, Palermo 0
Lazio 3, Inter Milan 1
Napoli 2, Siena 1

CHAMPION: Juventus

UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Juventus, AC Milan, Udinese

UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE: Lazio, Napoli

RELEGATED: Lecce, Novara, Cesena

FRANCE

Montpellier are on the brink of their first-ever Ligue 1 title following a 1-0 win over defendign champion and third-place Lille. A win or draw next week against last-place Auxerre will be enough to wrap up the title. Paris Saint-Germain kept their dwindling title hopes alive with a 3-0 win over Stade Rennes. 

Sochaux is out of the relegation zone with their second consecutive win and is up to 15th in the table. AC Ajaccio dropped into 18th place despite a 1-1 draw with Lyon. The two are among six teams separated by one point in the fight to stave off relegation with one game remaining in the season.

LIGUE 1 SCOREBOARD

AC Ajaccio 1, Lyon 1
AS Nancy Lorraine 3, St Etienne 2
Bordeaux 1, Lorient 0
Brest 1, Valenciennes 0
Caen 1, Sochaux 3
Dijon FCO 1, Toulouse 1
Marseille 3, AJ Auxerre 0
Montpellier 1, Lille 0
Nice 1, Evian Thonon Gaillard 1
Paris Saint-Germain 3, Stade Rennes 0

GERMANY

Borussia Dortmund capped off another memorable season in by adding the DFB Pokal crowd to their Bundesliga title with a 5-2 thrashing of Bayern Munich in the German Cup final.

Shinji Kagawa opened the scoring in the third minute, and Robert Lewandowski put things out of reach with a hat trick to help Dortmund add another piece of silverware to the trophy case.

————————–

What do you think of this weekend's fixtures? Was City's victory the most exciting in history? What other results stood out for you from this wild weekend? Can Montpellier hold out for the French title?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. One comment about Citeh… throughout the furious effort to score at the end, there were no dives, no embelishment, just hard-nosed soccer. Made the game a joy to watch.

    Reply
  2. I am hoping a flood of videos of United fans watching the city game on their televisions at home creep onto youtube here soon. I love those videos….my teams will never win titles so I have to take pleasure when others come to know what I feel every season.

    Reply
  3. After the USA vs. Algeria game at World Cup 2010 and the US Women vs. Brazil game at the Women’s World Cup in 2011, this was the most exciting thing I’ve ever witnessed in sports.

    Reply
  4. You can thank Liverpool for this rule change. UEFA amended the rules after Liverpool’s Champions League victory in 2005. In the EPL in 04-05 Liverpool finished 5th. The FA chose the top 4 teams from the 04-05 season, 4th place team being Everton. UEFA changed the rules for the 05-06 Champions League and allowed Liverpool to enter in the first Qualifying Round and for 5 teams from England to enter the Champions League. Since then the rules were amended to guarantee the previous years titles holders have a spot in the competition.

    Reply
  5. If by on the move, you mean physical movement, that likely won’t be the case as it would result in yet another injury.

    Reply
  6. Ives, from what I’ve read, Liverpool have secured a place in the EUROPA LEAGUE next year as well for winning the Carling Cup. Can you please confirm when you have a chance? Thanks.

    Reply
  7. WOW

    I’ve slipped bigtime.

    Didn’t realize Juve was undefeated this season.

    Damn that’s seriously impressive for a team in Serie A.

    Reply
  8. Found a brilliant video on the YouTube — A United fan sweating it out, flipping between games as his girlfriend films him. The money moment, as City pushes up the midfield looking for the winner:

    “Joey Barton is the biggest d!@k walking the face of the Earth.”

    Reply
  9. I have noticed SBI in recent months running more USWNT news so want to note that over the weekend American Sarah Hagen, who plays for the FC Bayern women’s team in the ladies Bundesliga, scored the winning goal to win the DFB Pokal ladies championship against Frankfurt, which was heavily favored to win. A nice article (in German) about her on the DFB Web site.

    http://tinyurl.com/d2pru4h

    Reply
  10. Is the UEFA Champions League winner automatically in the next year’s UCL? Because I do not really understand Tottenham not making Champions League if Chelsea win

    Reply

Leave a Comment