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Juve crowned, PSG and Barça made to wait

Published: Monday 6 May 2013
Juventus are home and dry in the Serie A title race after sealing their 29th Scudetto, but both Paris Saint-Germain FC and FC Barcelona must wait before crossing their own finish lines.

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Published: Monday 6 May 2013

Juve crowned, PSG and Barça made to wait

Juventus are home and dry in the Serie A title race after sealing their 29th Scudetto, but both Paris Saint-Germain FC and FC Barcelona must wait before crossing their own finish lines.

The celebrations started for Juventus on Sunday as they ended any lingering suspense in the Serie A title race, but elsewhere both Paris Saint-Germain FC and FC Barcelona had to put the champagne back on ice. The French and Spanish leaders could have been crowned this weekend but will have to wait until the next round of matches, while FC Bayern München and Borussia Dortmund contested a 1-1 draw in their UEFA Champions League final dress rehearsal. recaps the action.

Juventus marched over the Serie A title finish line with three games remaining thanks to a 1-0 win against US Città di Palermo. Needing just a point to be confirmed champions, Antonio Conte's men retained their crown – and the club's 29th overall – thanks to an Arturo Vidal penalty. "It's a huge weight off our shoulders – a responsibility we've had from the start of the season," commented goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon. "When you're favourites and expected to win, it's only yours to lose." The win moved the Bianconeri beyond the reach of SSC Napoli, who prevailed 3-1 against FC Internazionale Milano, while AC Milan consolidated third spot by defeating Torino FC 1-0. Indeed, fourth-placed ACF Fiorentina lost 1-0 to AS Roma, and there were five goals for Miroslav Klose as S.S. Lazio overcame Bologna FC 6-0.

PSG missed the chance to all but secure the Ligue 1 title on Sunday as they could only draw 1-1 with Valenciennes FC, after losing Thiago Silva to a 43rd-minute red card. "We're being hard on ourselves but this won't stop us winning the championship," said the capital club's midfielder Blaise Matuidi afterwards. "This draw postpones things a bit, but we'll keep on working." Carlo Ancelotti's men lead second-placed Olympique de Marseille – who defeated SC Bastia 2-1 – by seven points with three games to go. In third, Olympique Lyonnais kept OGC Nice three points back by seeing off AS Nancy-Lorraine 3-0, Nice having defeated Stade Rennais FC by the same scoreline.

Real Madrid CF edged a seven-goal thriller against Real Valladolid CF to keep the Liga race alive for another week, before Barcelona left themselves needing just one more win by overcoming Real Betis Balompié 4-2. The Seville outfit twice took the lead at Camp Nou, only for Lionel Messi to come off the bench and hit the two goals that earned Barça the points. "We can't celebrate yet," explained Barcelona defender Gerard Piqué. "It was important to win and it's a victory that's almost given us the league." In third, Club Atlético de Madrid drew 0-0 at RC Deportivo La Coruña, and Valencia CF put pressure on fourth-placed Real Sociedad de Fútbol with a 4-0 defeat of CA Osasuna.

It remains tense in the tussle for UEFA Champions League places after Chelsea FC, Tottenham Hotspur FC and Arsenal FC all clinched 1-0 wins. Third-placed Chelsea improved their prospects radically by triumphing away against champions Manchester United FC, Juan Mata hitting a late goal, and it was a timely strike from the irrepressible Gareth Bale that helped Spurs defeat Southampton FC. "It was a great moment of individual brilliance,” said Tottenham manager André Villas-Boas. "We're fortunate to have him playing at this level." Spurs – who face Chelsea on Wednesday – nonetheless lie fifth, two points behind Arsenal with a game in hand, Theo Walcott having registered after 20 seconds for the Gunners at Queens Park Rangers FC. On Merseyside, meanwhile, the derby between Liverpool FC and Everton FC ended goalless.

"It was a very intense match. Everyone was here to compete. We started very well, but we had too many moments when we played too little of our football," said Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp after his side drew 1-1 with fellow UEFA Champions League finalists Bayern, who had Rafinha sent off. "We've taken the point we needed to be sure of finishing second. It means we've hit our target for the season." Meanwhile, Bayer 04 Leverkusen booked their place in next season's UEFA Champions League group stage by overcoming 1. FC Nürnberg 2-0, with FC Schalke 04 three points clear in fourth courtesy of a 1-0 win at VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach.

There was a deluge of title wins across the continent as a number of sides celebrated silverware. AFC Ajax put the finishing touches on their third consecutive championship in the Netherlands courtesy of a 5-0 success against Willem II, while Galatasaray AŞ retained their Turkish crown and FC København won back the Danish title they relinquished last term. In addition, FC Steaua Bucureşti were confirmed as Romanian champions for the 24th time with five games to spare and FC Dinamo Tbilisi crossed the threshold in Georgia. Meanwhile, FC Porto moved within a point of Portuguese leaders SL Benfica – who have a game in hand – by downing CD Nacional 3-1 and FC Metalist Kharkiv leapfrogged FC Dynamo Kyiv into second spot in Ukraine by beating their rivals 2-0.

Last updated: 04/12/13 5.30CET

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