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Plzeň slip allows Sparta to secure title No36

Published: Sunday 4 May 2014, 21.36CET
The disappointment of a first league defeat of the campaign proved fleeting for AC Sparta Praha as FC Viktoria Plzeň's failure to win 24 hours later handed them the title.
by Ondřej Zlámal
from Prague
Plzeň slip allows Sparta to secure title No36
Sparta skipper David Lafata celebrates ©Martin Sekanina
Published: Sunday 4 May 2014, 21.36CET

Plzeň slip allows Sparta to secure title No36

The disappointment of a first league defeat of the campaign proved fleeting for AC Sparta Praha as FC Viktoria Plzeň's failure to win 24 hours later handed them the title.

AC Sparta Praha have captured their 36th Czech title after FC Viktoria Plzeň's failure to beat FK Jablonec left them holding an unassailable lead with three games to go.

Sparta could have wrapped up matters on Saturday but lost Europe's last unbeaten top-flight record with a shock defeat at FK Teplice. The disappointment was fleeting, however, as Plzeň's 2-2 draw with Jablonec means the title returns to the Letná stadium after a four-year absence.

"Our journey through the season did not start well, an early exit from the Europa League having a negative impact on our league performances," said coach Vítězslav Lavička, who added his first league title as Sparta coach to the seven he won with the club as a player. "We tuned things up soon enough, though, and got on the right path.

"Our next aim is to qualify for the Champions League [group stage]," added the 51-year-old, who also oversaw titles triumphs with FC Slovan Liberec in 2005/06 and Sydney FC in 2009/10. "We want to offer the best games to our loyal fans in the year of our club's [120th] anniversary. We know all too well how tricky it will be to get through the qualifying rounds, though."

The Czech champions will enter the second qualifying round, six games from Lavička's stated aim. There are still four matches to go this season first, chief among them the Czech Cup final against Plzeň on 17 May. They have drawn one and won one against the side already confirmed as runners-up in the league this term, a superior head-to-head record that means Sparta are champions despite the fact that Plzeň could yet match their points haul.

There is still plenty of individual incentive, too, with 15-goal Josef Hušbauer on target to become the first midfielder in Czech league history to finish top scorer. "It is interesting, but of course team success is much more precious for me," said Hušbauer. To underline Sparta's dominance, his closest rival is a team-mate: forward David Lafata.

Last updated: 04/05/14 22.07CET

Results

Czech First League 2013/14

Matches
HomeAway
Last updated: 04/05/2014 22:35 CET

04/05/2014

JablonecJablonec2-2PlzeňPlzeň

Kopic 27, 86

Tecl 33, Hrošovský 88

Venue: Jablonec

04/05/2014

Mladá BoleslavMladá Boleslav1-0Bohemians 1905Bohemians 1905

Magera 32

Venue: Mlada Boleslav

04/05/2014

JihlavaJihlava2-1BrnoBrno

Harba 8, Schuster 53 (og)

Fischer 27

Venue: Jihlava

03/05/2014

TepliceTeplice3-1Sparta PrahaSparta Praha

Litsingi 8, Nivaldo 34, Jablonsky 40

Hušbauer 45

Venue: Teplice

03/05/2014

ZnojmoZnojmo4-1LiberecLiberec

Crnkic 59, Cihlar 62, Vašíček 86, 90

Pavelka 49

Venue: Znojmo

02/05/2014

Slavia PrahaSlavia Praha3-0PříbramPříbram

Hruby 5, Necid 71, Juhar 88

Venue: Prague

02/05/2014

DuklaDukla1-1SlováckoSlovácko

Pospěch 85

Petr 89

Venue: Prague

Related information

Team profiles

http://www.uefa.com/memberassociations/association=cze/news/newsid=2099911.html#plzen+slip+allows+sparta+secure+title+no36

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