The tragic death of AS Livorno Calcio midfielder Piermario Morosini cast a long shadow over the weekend's football in Europe, while leading to the cancellation of all games in Italy. Further afield, Borussia Dortmund took another major stride towards defending their Bundesliga title and Paris Saint-Germain FC missed the chance to rejoin Montpellier Hérault SC at the Ligue 1 summit. UEFA.com recaps the action.
Dortmund are within touching distance of a second consecutive Bundesliga crown after stretching their lead to eight points with three games left. Jürgen Klopp's men fell behind at Ruhr rivals FC Schalke 04 but battled back to post a 2-1 victory, while closest rivals FC Bayern München could only draw 0-0 with 1. FSV Mainz 05. "Until we actually have a reason to pop the champagne corks, we will not do so," said Klopp. "Why should we think about anything other than picking up more points and, ideally, playing the best season of our lives, at least in terms of points?" Schalke now lie just a point ahead of fourth-placed VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach, who downed 1. FC Köln 3-0.
A late equaliser prevented PSG from moving level with Montpellier Hérault SC at the top of Ligue 1 as the capital side were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw at AJ Auxerre, Anthony Le Tallec hitting an 86th-minute leveller for the bottom side. That came after Montpellier lost 2-1 at FC Lorient to present PSG with their chance. "We need to play with more determination and more character if we want to be champions," said PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti. "We have to completely change our attitude." Elsewhere, third-placed LOSC Lille Métropole overcame AC Ajaccio 4-1, and Olympique de Marseille beat Olympique Lyonnais 1-0 to retain the French League Cup.
Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC will dispute the FA Cup final on 5 May after both won their semi-finals. Liverpool sealed their berth first as Andy Carroll clinched a 2-1 triumph against Merseyside neighbours Everton FC, before Chelsea overcame Tottenham Hotspur FC 5-1. "These players have shown they are capable of coming back, but it's not finished," said Reds manager Kenny Dalglish. "We have to try and do as much as we can over the remaining games of the season, one being the FA Cup final." In the Premier League, meanwhile, Manchester United FC beat Aston Villa FC 4-0 to maintain their five-point lead over Manchester City FC , who prevailed 6-1 at Norwich City FC.
Not for the first time, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo grabbed the headlines as both moved onto a record 41 Liga goals this season. Messi struck twice as FC Barcelona triumphed 2-1 at Levante UD to remain four points behind Ronaldo's Real Madrid CF, 3-1 victors against Real Sporting de Gijón. The top two will now meet at the Camp Nou on Saturday, after both contest UEFA Champions League semi-final first legs in midweek. "El Clásico will be very important, but not decisive," said Barcelona goalkeeper Víctor Valdés. "Even if we win, we will still not depend on ourselves to win the league." On Sunday, Valencia CF stayed third despite a 4-0 loss at RCD Espanyol.
SL Benfica are celebrating their fourth consecutive Portuguese League Cup triumph after Javier Saviola clinched a 2-1 success against Gil Vicente FC in the final. Over in Scotland, meanwhile, Heart of Midlothian FC set up an Edinburgh derby in the Scottish Cup showpiece after Craig Beattie's last-gasp penalty secured a 2-1 win against league champions Celtic FC, with Hibernian FC seeing off Aberdeen FC 2-1 in the other semi-final. AFC Ajax enjoy a six-point lead in the Eredivisie after they beat De Graafschap 3-1 and second-placed AZ Alkmaar lost 3-2 at PSV Eindhoven, while FC Zenit St Petersburg are 12 points clear in Russia following their 2-0 defeat of PFC CSKA Moskva.
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