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EPL battle tightens, Dortmund clinches
May 1st, 2011 9:36PM

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TAGS:  england, germany

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[EUROPEAN RACES] Arsenal's 1-0 win over Manchester United may be too late for the Gunners' title hopes, but Chelsea is now within three points of United in the English Premier League with three games to play. Borussia Dortmund clinched the Bundesliga title, while Barcelona and Real Madrid both lost on the eve of their fourth Clasico. For a look at the European races ...

ENGLAND (35 games -- 3 games to play)
Arsenal's 1-0 win over Manchester United thanks to Aaron Ramsey's goal may be too late for the Gunners' title hopes, but defending champion Chelsea is now within three points of United in the English Premier League with three games to play.

Man. United and Chelsea meet next Sunday in a game that should decide the EPL title.

“It gives Chelsea a major chance now,” United manager Alex Ferguson said. “But in terms of ability -- a game at Old Trafford -- the supporters will be ready for it and so will our players.”

Title Race:
73 Man. United
70 Chelsea
68 Arsenal
62 Man. City (34 games)
--------------------------------
54 Liverpool
50 Tottenham (34 games)
Relegation:
39 Birmingham
38 Blackburn
35 Blackpool
--------------------------------
35 Wigan
34 Wolves
32 West Ham

FRANCE (33 games -- 5 games to play)
Lille took over first place when it beat last-place Arles-Avignon, 5-0, and Marseille was held to a 1-1 tie by Auxerre at home.

Lille's win thanks to two goals by Ivory Coast international Gervinho and single tallies by Mathieu Debuchy, Yohan Cabaye and David Rozehnal in the second half ended its three-game winless streak.

A 77th-minute goal by South Korean substitute Jung Jo-Gook shocked Marseille, which had led on Mathieu Valbuena's first-half goal.

Title Race:
63 Lille
62 Marseille
56 Lyon
56 PSG 
52 Rennes
Relegation:
39 Valenciennes
39 Monaco
39 Auxerre 
39 Caen 
39 Nice
--------------------------------
38 Nancy  
32 Lens
14 Arles-Avignon

GERMANY (32 games -- 2 games to play)
Borussia Dortmund clinched its first Bundesliga title since 2002 with a 2-0 win against Nuremberg in front of 80,720 fans at home.

"I had thought it would feel different, more euphoric, but maybe that comes later," said Coach Juergen Klopp. "The team has achieved extraordinary things, set high standards and handled every pressure situation very well. What these young guys have achieved is hard to put into words. The way they have taken our direction and used it on the pitch has been incredible."

Bayern moved back into third place when it beat Schalke 04, 4-1, and Hannover 96 was upset by Borussia Moenchengladbach, 1-0.

Title Race:
72 Borussia Dortmund (clinched title)
64 Bayer Leverkusen
59 Bayern Munich  
--------------------------------
57 Hannover 96
Relegation:
38 Werder Bremen   
38 FC Cologne
35 Wolfsburg
--------------------------------
34 Ein. Frankfurt
--------------------------------
32 Bor. M'gladbach
29 St. Pauli

ITALY (35 games -- 3 games to play)
Mathieu Flamini's goal gave AC Milan a 1-0 win over Bologna that all but wrapped up the 2011 Scudetto.

Milan can now clinch its 18th league title with a win or a tie at Roma Saturday.

"We're going to try to secure the mathematics in Rome," said Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri. "At this point we have a decent lead and we ought to win it."

Title Race:
77 AC Milan
69 Inter Milan
68 Napoli
60 Lazio 
--------------------------------
59 Udinese
59 Roma  
Relegation:
37 Cesena
36 Sampdoria
--------------------------------
35 Lecce
31 Brescia
22 Bari

SPAIN (34 games -- 4 games to play)
Despite losing at Real Sociedad, 2-1, Barcelona remained eight points ahead of Real Madrid when the Merengues fell, 3-2, at Real Zaragoza.

Diego Ifran and Xabi Prieto scored in the second half to end Barcelona's 31-game unbeaten run in La Liga. The loss to Real Sociedad was costly for Barca, which lost another defender when Argentine Gabriel Milito suffered a muscle tear in his left thigh that will sideline him for a month.

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho took the blame after the loss to Zaragoza. “I am the only one to blame for this defeat because as a coach I wasn’t capable of motivating the team in the first half,” said Mourinho.

Angel Lafita led Zaragoza with two goals. He also set up the penalty scored by Gabi.

Title Race:

88 Barcelona
80 Real Madrid
63 Valencia
60 Villarreal
--------------------------------
52 Sevilla 
52 Atl. Madrid 
51 Ath. Bilbao
Relegation:
40 Racing Santander
39 Malaga
39 Zaragoza 
38 Osasuna
38 Dep. Coruna
--------------------------------
37 Getafe
33 Hercules
26 Almeria



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