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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Apr 15, 2006

Chelsea within sight of second Premier League title

LONDON -- Chelsea is within reach of its second straight Premier League title. John Terry and Frank Lampard gave Chelsea a 2-0 victory at Bolton on Saturday, giving the Blues a chance to clinch the title Monday against Everton at Stamford Bridge. Second-place Manchester United plays at Tottenham the same day. If both teams win, Chelsea would lead United by nine points with three games to play. Chelsea would still need another point to clinch the title, although its superior goal difference (10) nearly guarantees it. "It was a big step towards winning it today," Lampard said. "We got the result, we're nearly there." Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho urged some caution. "The situation is fantastic, but I want my people just to be happy with the result and the situation -- not to be happy or to be singing the champions song," he said. "Not yet. Football is full of surprises." Chelsea leads with 85 points, followed by Manchester United (76), Liverpool (70), Tottenham (61), Arsenal (57) and Blackburn (54). Tottenham held on to fourth place -- the last Champions League spot -- after Robbie Keane's 33rd-minute penalty kick gave it a 1-0 win over Everton. Arsenal stayed four points behind its north London rivals, with the two meeting next weekend. Robert Pires and Dennis Bergkamp scored late to break a 1-1 deadlock at Highbury. Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson acknowledged his club needs "a miracle" to overtake Chelsea. The Red Devils' challenge probably ended with a 0-0 tie against Sunderland on Friday before 72,509 fans at Old Trafford. Ferguson blamed the draw on striker Wayne Rooney and winger Cristiano Ronaldo. "Young Rooney and young Ronaldo had their worst games of the season -- probably," Ferguson said. "We know they're going to be great players. Tonight they just had an off night.

Italy
ROME -- Defender Fabio Cannavaro scored in injury time to give Juventus a 1-1 tie with Cagliari to stay five points ahead of second-place AC Milan in the Serie A. It was the fourth straight draw for Juventus, which once led AC Milan by 10 points in mid-March. With four games left, Juventus has 81 points and is aiming for its 29th league title. Milan, which beat Inter Milan 1-0 on Friday, has 76. Inter is next with 71. Cagliari led 1-0 after David Suazo converted a penalty in the 44th minute for his 18th goal of this season. Juventus was awarded a contentious penalty in the 54th, but captain Alessandro Del Piero's shot was saved by Cagliari goalkeeper Antonio Chimenti. But Cannavaro saved a point with a tying goal in second-half injury time. Also Saturday, AS Roma wasted a 3-0 first-half lead to draw 3-3 at Palermo and lose fourth place to Fiorentina, which beat Treviso 3-1.

France
PARIS -- Lyon claimed a record fifth straight French first-division title after second-place Bordeaux lost 3-2 at Lille. Lyon plays at Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday. But it has a 14-point lead and No. 2 Bordeaux can earn a maximum of 12 points from its four remaining games. Coach Jacques Santini guided Lyon to its first title in the 2001-02 season. Paul Le Guen won three more before leaving in 2005 to be replaced by Gerard Houllier, who clinched the title this season. Houllier also won the French title with Paris St. Germain in the 1985-86 season. Marseille and Saint Etienne both won four straight titles. At Lille, Nigeria striker Peter Odemwingie scored twice and Mathieu Bodmer added the other for Lille. Jean-Claude Darcheville and Julien Faubert scored for Bordeaux.

Germany
BERLIN -- Late goals by Michael Ballack and Mehmet Scholl helped Bundesliga League leader Bayern Munich beat Arminia Bielefeld 2-0. Ballack's low shot off the left post in the 69th minute and Scholl's goal five minutes later allowed Bayern to retain a four-point lead over No. 2 Hamburg, which was 10 back three weeks ago. Hamburg defeated Duisburg 2-0 to keep pace. With four rounds left, Bayern has 69 points and Hamburg 65. Third-placed Bremen has 60 and may have ended its title hopes with a 1-1 draw against Wolfsburg. Ballack, whose goal was his 13th, received some booing before 69,000 at Bayern Allianz Arena. The German midfielder said this week he may move next season to English club Chelsea.

Spain
MADRID -- Deportivo La Coruna drew 0-0 with Sevilla in the Spanish league on Saturday, leaving both vulnerable in their bid for a place in European competition next season. The result left Sevilla in fifth place with 53 points and Deportivo sixth, two points behind with five games remaining. Celta Vigo, which plays its 33rd-round match at Real Betis on Sunday, also has 51 points, two points ahead of Villarreal. The top six finishers earn places in European competition next season. FC Barcelona, which won 1-0 over Villarreal on Friday, leads the standings with 73 points, 14 more than Valencia and Real Madrid. Osasuna has 58 points while Sevilla has 53 and Celta Vigo has 51.

Portugal
LISBON -- Sporting was held to a 0-0 draw at Amadora on Saturday, leaving FC Porto seven points ahead in the Portuguese first division with three games remaining. Porto beat Leiria 1-0 on Friday to close on its 21st Portuguese league title, which it can clinch with a victory at Penafiel next week. Adriano scored in the 44th minute to give FC Porto its seventh straight victory and 72 points atop the table. Sporting's draw left it 65 points. Elsewhere Saturday, defending champion Benfica closed within two points of second-place Sporting, using an own-goal and another from Pedro Mantorras to win 2-0 at Boavista.

Scotland
GLASGOW -- Hearts beat Kilmarnock 2-0 at home to stay in second place in the Scottish Premier League. Goals by Paul Hartley in the 70th minute and Christophe Berra in the 87th keep Hearts five points ahead of third-place Rangers. Celtic has already clinched the title with 85 points, and plays at home on Sunday against Hibernian. Hearts has 68 points, with Rangers on 63. Rangers drew 1-1 at home against Aberdeen on Saturday. Kris Boyd gave Rangers the lead in the 51st, with Scott Severin equalizing in the 68th.

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