The weekend's games brought another instalment of intrigue in Europe's most captivating title races, with Manchester City FC taking over at the summit in England and the top three all dropping points in Spain. Juventus wrapped up the Serie A title without playing, in contrast, while EA Guingamp lifted the Coupe de France and a whole raft of trophies were handed out across the continent. UEFA.com recaps the action.
Juventus crossed the Serie A finishing line in first place without even kicking a ball on Sunday as closest rivals AS Roma slipped to a 4-1 reverse at Calcio Catania, leaving them eight points back with two games remaining. "It was strange winning it like this and I'd never experienced that situation from the outside," said Juve defender Giorgio Chiellini. "It was an incredible journey and we're not done yet, as we want to become the first Serie A club to amass 100 points." Elsewhere in the league, AC Milan overcame derby rivals FC Internazionale Milano 1-0, while on Saturday Lorenzo Insigne struck twice as SSC Napoli defeated ACF Fiorentina 3-1 at the Stadio Olimpico to win the Coppa Italia for the fifth time.
Club Atlético de Madrid slipped to a shock 2-0 defeat at Levante UD on Sunday, though neither FC Barcelona nor Real Madrid CF could make the most of the opportunity as they were held to 2-2 draws. Added-time goals were decisive, Barça conceding an equaliser against Getafe CF on Saturday while Cristiano Ronaldo earned Madrid a share of the spoils at home to Valencia CF 24 hours later. Atlético still know that if they win their last two games they will secure the title. "This defeat is the best thing that could happen," said Rojiblancos coach Diego Simeone, whose side will face Madrid in the UEFA Champions League final on 24 May. "We expect three weeks with very high intensity and emotion."
Manchester City have taken over from Liverpool FC at the top of the Premier League table by virtue of their superior goal difference following Saturday's 3-2 comeback win at Everton FC. "It is a huge step towards winning the title, but my message was the same as it was after we lost at Liverpool – the title is not over," Manuel Pellegrini stressed. City's weekend was also boosted by a goalless draw for Chelsea FC at home to Norwich City FC, with the Blues missing the chance to go top having played one game more. Meanwhile, Everton's defeat ensured UEFA Champions League football next term for fourth-placed Arsenal FC, who edged West Bromwich Albion FC 1-0. Fulham FC and Cardiff City AFC were relegated.
AS Saint-Étienne are guaranteed European football next term thanks to a 2-0 success against Montpellier Hérault SC which assured the club of at least a fifth-place finish. "We'll be playing to win our final games and come in fourth – our goal hasn't been achieved yet," said Les Verts' coach Christophe Galtier. Elsewhere in Ligue 1, Olympique de Marseille saw off Olympique Lyonnais 4-2 and Valenciennes FC were relegated. On Saturday, the focus fell on the Stade de France as Guingamp got the better of an all-Breton French Cup final, Jonathan Martins Pereira and Mustapha Yatabaré scoring the goals that accounted for Stade Rennais FC. "We deserve it: we played the perfect game," commented Yatabaré.
FC Schalke 04 closed on Germany's third UEFA Champions League group stage slot following a 2-0 win at SC Freiburg. The result consolidated their three-point lead over Bayer 04 Leverkusen, who won by the same scoreline at Eintracht Frankfurt, with one game to play. "It was a very impressive performance by my team and a win we thoroughly deserved," said Royal Blues boss Jens Keller. Meanwhile, champions FC Bayern München vented some of their fury at missing out on the UEFA Champions League final with a 4-1 win at Hamburger SV, on a day when Borussia Dortmund beat TSG 1899 Hoffenheim 3-2.
Silverware was handed out across the continent and that included a first Czech title in four years for AC Sparta Praha, who lost their unbeaten record on Saturday but clinched the crown when FC Viktoria Plzeň could not win the following day. Championship honours were likewise claimed by HŠK Zrinjski in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC in Israel and FC Sheriff in Moldova. Meanwhile, The New Saints FC defeated Aberystwyth Town FC in the Welsh Cup final to complete a domestic double, Zawisza Bydgoszcz beat Zagłębie Lubin on penalties to lift the Polish Cup and FC Shakhtyor Soligorsk won the knockout competition in Belarus.
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