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Mancini poo-poos City's chances, Bayern all but concedes
by Paul Kennedy, April 12th, 2012 2:17AM

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TAGS:  england, germany, italy, spain

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[EUROPEAN RACES] The title race narrowed in England -- but Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini doesn't believe for a minute his team has a chance of catching Manchester United. Bayern Munich all but raised the white flag after it lost to Borussia Dortmund in their top-of-the-table clash in Germany. Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat trick to help keep Real Madrid four points ahead of Barcelona in Spain, while veteran Alessandro Del Piero scored a late free kick to give Juventus the three points it needed to stay ahead of AC Milan in the tightest race of all, the race for Italy's Scudetto.

ENGLAND
Midweek Results: Shaun Maloney's goal just after halftime earned Wigan a 1-0 victory over Manchester United that cut United's lead over Manchester City to five points. United had been unbeaten in his last 12 games (10 wins and two ties). City beat West Bromwich Albion, 4-0, getting two goals from Sergio Aguero and one each for David Silva and Carlos Tevez.

Current Standings:
1. Man. United 79 pts.; 2. Man. City 74 (five games to play).

This Weekend:
Saturday -- Norwich City vs. Man. City; Sunday -- Man. United vs. Aston
Villa.

Reaction:
"No, no, no -- I think United have a fantastic spirit, we don't have the same spirit and for this reason I think it is very difficult." -- Man. City manager Roberto Mancini, asked whether he was trying to play mind games when he said the EPL race was over.

GERMANY
Midweek Result:
Dortmund looked set to win a second consecutive Bundesliga title after Polish striker Robert Lewandowski's second-half goal, his 20th of the season, gave it a 1-0 win over second-place Bayern that opened up a six-point lead with four games left. It also extended Dortmund's unbeaten streak to 24 games.

Current Leaders:
1. Borussia Dortmund 69 points; 2. Bayern Munich 63 (four games to play).

This Weekend:
Saturday -- Schalke 04 vs. Borussia Dortmund (Ruhr derby); Bayern Munich vs. Mainz.

Reaction:
"I am 99 percent sure that Dortmund will be German champions," Bayern president Karl-Heinz Rummenigge admitted.

ITALY
Midweek Results:
Veteran Alessandro Del Piero came off the bench to give Juventus a 2-1 win over third-place Lazio with a superb free kick (Video). The victory moved Juve back into the lead for the Scudetto over AC Milan, which had beaten Michael Bradley's Chievo Verona, 1-0, on Tuesday. Milan had led Juve by four points two weeks earlier.

Current Leaders:
1. Juventus 68 pts., 2. AC Milan 67 (six games to play).

This Weekend:
Saturday -- AC Milan vs. Genoa; Sunday -- Juventus vs. Cesena.

Reaction:
"It’s inevitable that if we converted all our scoring opportunities, we’d all be calmer and our coronary arteries under less stress!" Juve coach Antonio Conte on his team's problems finishing off games it has dominated.

SPAIN
Midweek Results:
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat trick to give Real Madrid a 4-1 win at Atletico Madrid that keeps it four points ahead of Barcelona. The three goals give Ronaldo 40 league goals for the season, one more than Lionel Messi, who scored once in Barcelona's 4-0 win over Getafe.

Current Leaders:
1. Real Madrid 82 pts.; 2. Barcelona 78 (six games to play).

This Weekend:
Saturday -- Real Madrid vs. Sporting Gijon, Levante vs. Barcelona.

Reaction:
"After Barca's win yesterday there was a bit of pressure, but we're happy with that and we have to look to win the rest of our games." -- Ronaldo.



1 comment
  1. Efrahim Fernandez
    commented on: April 12, 2012 at 7:52 a.m.
    Messi scores great goals but Christiano scores wonder goals!

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