Having just booked their place in the UEFA Champions League final, Manchester United FC and FC Barcelona rounded off a triumphant week with league successes that have taken them to within a point of their respective domestic titles. In Italy and Ukraine, meanwhile, the destination of the championship has already been decided, with AC Milan ending their long Scudetto wait and FC Shakhtar Donetsk, like the Rossoneri, completing the first half of a possible domestic double. UEFA.com runs the rule over the latest action from around Europe.
Manchester United moved to within a point of a record 19th English title with a 2-1 victory against defending champions Chelsea FC. Sir Alex Ferguson's charges can now seal the crown with a point against Blackburn Rovers FC on Saturday. "It's fantastic to be the most successful team in the country," said the United boss. "We deserve the title and hopefully we'll get that point now." In the battle to beat the drop, Wolverhampton Wanderers FC took full advantage of draws for West Ham United FC, Wigan Athletic FC and Blackpool FC by beating West Bromwich Albion FC 3-1 to move up to 17th, one point above the relegation zone.
FC Bayern München sealed a UEFA Champions League spot with an emphatic 8-1 victory against basement side FC St Pauli which included a sixth hat-trick of the season for Mario Gomez and also sealed the hosts' relegation. "His strike rate is sensational and bears comparison with the best," enthused Bayern honorary president Franz Beckenbauer. Already crowned champions, Borussia Dortmund went down 2-0 against SV Werder Bremen, while relegation-threatened VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach picked up a crucial home win against SC Freiburg which, combined with defeats for Eintracht Frankfurt and VfL Wolfsburg, means one point separates the three teams above St Pauli.
Milan scratched their seven-year itch by winning the Scudetto for the first time since 2003/04 thanks to a goalless draw at AS Roma on Saturday night. Though FC Internazionale Milano went on to win 3-1 against ACF Fiorentina the following day, the nine-point gap was enough to take the title across town thanks to Milan's superior head-to-head record. "The critics said that we were half-dead, too old, that we didn't have any value," said midfielder Gennaro Gattuso. "But here we are again celebrating our 18th title." It was also a great weekend for Udinese Calcio, who are back in the top four at the expense of S.S. Lazio, whom they defeated 2-1. Both the Biancocelesti and Roma are two points back with as many matches remaining.
Barcelona took a giant stride towards their 21st Liga title with a 2-0 derby victory against RCD Espanyol and can seal a third successive championship with a point against Levante UD on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Cristiano Ronaldo scored four as Real Madrid CF kept the suspense going a little longer with a resounding 6-2 win at Sevilla FC. "Cristiano had many more chances to score and is now the top scorer in the Liga," said right-back Sergio Ramos. "I am very happy for him and the four goals he scored." Elsewhere, Getafe CF and Málaga CF picked up important wins against UD Almería and Club Atlético de Madrid respectively in the tussle for survival.
LOSC Lille Métropole stretched their lead at the top of Ligue 1 thanks to a 1-0 victory at AS Nancy-Lorraine, who remain 18th, one point from safety with four games remaining. "My team has a fantastic mentality and wants to win something this season," said Lille boss Rudi Garcia, whose side lie four points clear after closest rivals Olympique de Marseille slumped to a 3-2 loss at Olympique Lyonnais. That result also propelled the victors up into third and the last UEFA Champions League qualifying spot ahead of Paris Saint-Germain FC. Lastly, Jean Tigana resigned as coach of FC Girondins de Bordeaux following their heavy 4-0 defeat at the hands of FC Sochaux-Montbéliard.
Trophies were held aloft across the continent this weekend with FC Twente lifting the Dutch Cup for the third time thanks to a dramatic comeback against AFC Ajax, Marc Janko's 117th-minute winner earning the Tukkers a remarkable victory. In Ukraine, FC Shakhtar Donetsk were crowned champions for the sixth time after defeating FC Metalurh Donetsk 2-0. ŠK Slovan Bratislava downed MŠK Žilina to retain the Slovak Cup, while Llanelli AFC won the Welsh Cup for the first time with a 4-1 victory against Bangor City FC. The Northern Irish Cup was clinched by Linfield FC, who came from behind to beat Crusaders FC and seal the club's fifth league and cup double in six years.
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