Pitchside

European Review – Atletico win to stay top, PSG suffer defeat

Pitchside

Atletico Madrid recorded victory to remain top of La Liga, Roma beat Atalanta to keep the title race alive in Italy and Paris St Germain suffered a surprise loss to Olympique Lyon which slowed their Ligue 1 title charge.

SPAIN

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Atletico Madrid moved a step closer to a first title in almost two decades when Diego Godin and Diego Costa scored in a 2-0 win at 10-man Getafe on Sunday that stretched their advantage at the top to three points.

The surprise leaders ahead of much wealthier rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona, Atletico are well-placed with five games left to become the first club other than the big two to win Spain's domestic league since Valencia in 2004.

Barca surrendered second place to Real on Saturday when they followed their Champions League elimination at the hands of Atletico with a shock 1-0 defeat at Granada. Real thumped Almeria 4-0 at the Bernabeu.

Atletico have 82 points, with Real in second on 79 and Barca, who host Atletico on the final day of the season, on 78.

ITALY

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Second-placed Roma did their best to keep the Serie A title race alive by beating Atalanta 3-1 to move within five points of leaders Juventus who visit Udinese on Monday.

Rodrigo Taddei, Adem Ljajic and Gervinho scored the goals as Roma chalked up their seventh consecutive win.

The next three teams also won with Gonzalo Higuain claiming a hat-trick as Napoli beat Lazio 4-2, Alberto Aquilani scoring twice in Fioretina's 5-3 win at Verona and Inter winning 4-0 at 10-man Sampdoria.

Juventus, with six games to play, have 84 points and Roma are on 79 in the two Champions League group stage places. They are followed by Napoli (67) in the Champions League playoff spot and Fiorentina (58) and Inter (53) in the Europa League places.

GERMANY

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Borussia Dortmund dazzled in a 3-0 win over champions Bayern Munich with Juergen Klopp's team claiming back some Bundesliga bragging rights after their Champions League exit with a stellar attacking performance.

Goals from Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Marco Reus and Jonas Hofmann handed Bayern their second league defeat in a row and the worst loss in coach Pep Guardiola's career.

Dortmund protected their three-point lead over third-placed Schalke 04, who eased past Eintracht Frankfurt 2-0 to remain on track for an automatic Champions League group stage spot next season.

Bayer Leverkusen ended their recent bad run on coach Sascha Lewandowski's debut when they edged past Hertha Berlin 2-1 to reclaim fourth place on 51 points, one ahead of VfL Wolfsburg following their second win in 10 league games.

FRANCE

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Paris St Germain lost their second Ligue 1 game of the season when they were beaten 1-0 at Olympique Lyon on Sunday to slow their title charge.

Jordan Ferri scored the only goal with a curling shot in the first half to leave PSG with 79 points from 33 games, six days before the sides face each other in the League Cup final.

Second-placed Monaco are 10 points adrift after Emmanuel Riviere's goal secured a 1-0 win at Stade Rennes on Saturday.

Lille stayed third thanks to a 1-0 home win against Valenciennes in the northern derby on Saturday.

PORTUGAL

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Benfica are one win away from wrapping up their first Portuguese league title since 2010 after a 2-0 victory at Arouca on Sunday.

Rodrigo and Nicolas Gaitan scored in each half to give the Europa League semi-finalists a 10th successive league win.

The Eagles, who host Olhanense next week, have 70 points from 27 games, seven clear of Sporting who beat Gil Vicente 2-0. Champions Porto are third with 55 points after a 3-1 win at Braga.

NETHERLANDS

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Ajax must wait another fortnight for a chance to be crowned champions despite beating ADO Den Haag at home on Sunday after closest rivals Feyenoord stayed in contention with a 2-0 victory at PSV Eindhoven.

Ajax could have claimed the title in the last two weekends but have been thwarted by their Rotterdam rivals, who won for the first time in a decade at PSV to keep alive their slim hopes.

Ajax's 3-2 win put them on 69 points and left them needing one more victory from their last two matches to clinch a fourth successive championship.

Feyenoord's only hope is that Ajax lose both matches and they win both theirs.

GREECE

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Apollon Smyrni were relegated from the Greek Super League on Sunday after the Athens club lost 1-0 at champions Olympiakos on the final day of the season.

Apollon, coached by former Northern Ireland and Fulham boss Lawrie Sanchez, had slim hopes of getting a win which would have kept them in the top flight against Michel's double-chasing side.

Despite a determined effort, Sanchez's team were beaten by a solitary goal from former Argentina striker Javier Saviola two minutes from time. Olympiakos celebrated winning their 41st league title last month.

PAOK Salonika, Atromitos Athinon, Panathinaikos, and Asteras Tripolis - who finished second, third, fourth and fifth respectively - will contest the end-of-season playoffs, a mini-league competition which determines the second Champions League qualifier and the two Europa League spots.

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