Panathinaikos FC bowed out of the Greek title race with a whimper, as Galatasaray SK edged in front in Turkey. The final day of the Dutch season saw teams scrambling for play-off positions, while across the border in Belgium R. Standard de Liège stay in charge.
Olympiacos handed title
Olympiacos CFP have been crowned champions of Greece for the ninth time in ten years following Panathinaikos FC's 1-0 defeat against Iraklis FC. José Esteban Herrera's goal was enough to extinguish any lingering hopes Panathinaikos had of snatching the title, leaving them eight points adrift with two games remaining. Knowing the championship was theirs, Olympiacos lost Sunday's late game 2-1 to Larissa FC, but the defeat did little to dampen their celebrations. AEK Athens FC moved above Panathinaikos into second with a 2-0 win against OFI Crete FC. They will be the champions' opponents as the Piraeus side bid to complete a domestic double in the Greek Cup final on 6 May.
Galatasaray edge ahead
Galatasaray surged three points clear at the top of the Turkish Super League with a 4-2 win against Rizespor. Hakan Sükür scored either side of half-time, and his efforts were augmented by Sasa Ilic and an Allyson own goal. They take a crucial advantage with four games remaining after defending champions Fenerbahçe SK fell foul of a Sinan Kaloglu hat-trick for bottom side Vestel Manisaspor, slumping to a 5-3 defeat on Saturday. A 3-0 win against Diyarbakirspor saw Trabzonspor go level on points with Besiktas JK, who drew 2-2 at Gaziantepspor, while Genclerbirligi drop to fifth after a 2-0 defeat at Erciyesspor.
Guus Hiddink's last league game in charge of PSV Eindhoven ended in a 6-2 win for the Dutch champions away to NAC Breda on the final day of the regular season, with Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink and Jefferson Farfán both scoring twice. Elsewhere, FC Groningen's 1-1 draw at FC Twente saw them snatch fifth place and a berth in the UEFA Champions League play-off from FC Utrecht, who lost 4-1 at home to Willem II. AZ Alkmaar, Feyenoord and AFC Ajax take the other play-off places, while FC Utrecht, Heerenveen SC, Roda JC and FC Twente will battle it out for UEFA Cup qualification.
Hearts tighten grip
Celtic FC came within 15 minutes of just their third defeat of the season, but recovered to draw 1-1 against Hibernian FC thanks to a Maciej Zurawski header, then collected their Scottish Premierleague trophy in front of a jubilant Celtic Park. On Saturday, Heart of Midlothian FC moved closer to sealing second place, defeating Kilmarnock FC 2-0 while rivals Rangers FC could only draw 1-1 at home to Aberdeen FC. Hearts have a five-point cushion with four games left. Elsewhere, bottom club Livingston FC defeated Dundee United FC 3-1 while Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC won 1-0 at Motherwell FC.
Sporting Clube de Portugal will switch their attention from challenging for the title to defending second place, following their goalless draw away at CF Estrela da Amadora on Saturday. With three games to play they are seven points behind champions-elect FC Porto, who won 1-0 against UD Leiria on Friday, and only two points ahead of SL Benfica, who were 2-0 winners at Boavista FC with goals from Pedro Mantorras and a Tiago own goal. Porto will clinch the title with a win at FC Penafiel next Sunday. There were also wins for CF Os Belenenses, Gil Vicente FC, AA Coimbra and Vitória SC.
Standard stay clear
R. Standard de Liège maintained their lead at the top of the Belgian First Division with a 1-0 win against FC Molenbeek Brussels Strombeek. Milan Rapaić scored the game's only goal with a deflected free-kick, and any hope of a Brussels comeback was snuffed out when they had Mickaël Niçoise sent off. Second-placed RSC Anderlecht were more emphatic winners, 5-0 against KVC Westerlo, with a hat-trick from Grégory Pujol. Club Brugge KV stayed third with a 1-0 win at RAA Louviéroise, while the weekend also brought wins for KFC Germinal Beerschot Antwerpen, KRC Genk and KSV Roeselare.
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