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PSV celebrates another title; Barcelona's slump prompts threat
by Paul Kennedy, April 21st, 2008 6:31AM
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[WINNERS & LOSERS] PSV won its fourth straight Dutch league title, while Italians Luca Toni and Alessandro Del Piero continued their hot streaks. Barcelona's troubles have prompted star Samuel Eto'o to threaten to leave the Catalan club, while the English press lambasted Chelsea manager Avram Grant after his bizarre press conference following the Blues' win over Everton.

Winners

PSV. The Eindhoven club clinched its fourth Dutch league title in a row and 21st overall on Sunday with a 1-0 win at Vitesse on Serbia striker Danko Lazovic's goal to finish three points ahead of Ajax. PSV had dropped four points in its last three matches to allow Ajax back into the title race. "There was a lot of pressure on this match but the goal was a relief," said PSV coach Sef Vergoossen. "But despite the close finish we really deserve this championship."

LUCA TONI. The Italian continued his hot streak, scoring both goals in Bayern's 2-1 overtime win over Borussia Dortmund in Saturday's German Cup final to give him eight goals in his last four games over a 10-day period. He has scored 35 goals in 41 matches in all competitions for Bayern, which is also in on course to win the German Bundesliga and has reached the semifinals of the UEFA Cup.

ALESSANDRO DEL PIERO. The 33-year-old Italian scored a hat trick in Juventus' 4-0 win over Atalanta, prompting calls for him to be recalled to the Italy squad for Euro 2008. The goals took Del Piero's total for the season to 17, his second best total in Serie A.

ALI AL HABSI. Oman's lone representative in the English Premier League made spectacular saves on shots by David Wheater and Tuncay Sanli to help Bolton Wanders win, 1-0 at Middlesbrough and boost its hopes of avoiding relegation. Bolton jumped out of the relegation zone and moved ahead of Reading and Birmingham City with the win.

Losers

BARCELONA. The Spanish club's troubles continued when it could only manage a 0-0 tie at home against city rival Espanyol -- a result that left it 10 points behind Real Madrid and prompted three-time African Player of the Year Samuel Eto'o to say he'd quit Barcelona next season if the Spanish giant's troubles continue. "If things carry on next season like this, well, I want to win titles and if I can't do that here, then it will be an another club," said Eto'o, speaking to Catalan radio station RAC1.

VALENCIA. Things are even worse at Valencia, which lost to Athletic Bilbao, 5-1, and fell to 15th place, just two points away from the relegation zone after one win in its last 10 La Liga outings. The loss came just four days after Valencia won the Copa del Rey and started speculation that Dutch coach Ronald Koeman could be as gone as soon as Monday night.

AVRAM GRANT. Chelsea is back in the hunt for the English Premier League title -- Manchester United's 1-1 tie with Blackburn left it only three points ahead of the Blues with three games to play -- but all the talk was about its Israeli manager's bizarre press conference after the 1-0 win over Everton on Thursday. The Sun pointedly asked: "Av you gone mad?" Asked if Chelsea was still in the title race, he replied after Thursday's game: "I don't know." He also replied "I don't know" to a series of routine questions.

 



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