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Barca dealing with Copa drama

Barcelona
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By ESPN Staff

Porto clinch third successive title in style

LISBON, April 5 (Reuters) - Porto claimed their third successive Portuguese league title in stylish fashion on Saturday after crushing Estrela Amadora 6-0 at home.

With five games left, Porto have 63 points and an unassailable 18-point lead over Vitoria Guimaraes, whose 2-2 draw at Pacos Ferreira on Friday left them on 45 points.

Benfica, who are third with 44 points, visit Boavista on Sunday but even with a game in hand cannot catch Porto.

The newly-crowned champions, watched by more than 45,000 fans at the Dragao stadium, went ahead after nine minutes when Argentine midfielder Lucho Gonzalez tapped home a neat cross from the left by compatriot Lisandro Lopez.

The northern-based team doubled their lead two minutes later when Moroccan winger Tarik Sektioui capitalised on a defensive blunder after a cross from the left by Ricardo Quaresma.

Porto ran riot in the second half with Quaresma making it 3-0 after 65 minutes before a Mauricio own-goal in the 70th.

Defender Bruno Alves got their fifth in the 78th and striker Lisandro Lopez completed Porto's biggest win of the season two minutes from the time.

Although they celebrated winning the title on Saturday, Porto could still be hit with a six-point deduction by the Portuguese League's disciplinary committee for match-fixing.

The northern club said on its Web site (www.fcporto.pt) on Monday that it had been charged with attempting to corrupt referees in two matches in the 2003-2004 season.

Porto won one of the matches and drew the other on the way to the championship that year under then-coach Jose Mourinho. The former Chelsea manager was not mentioned in the allegations.

Porto said it would respond to the charges next week when it can lodge an appeal with the Justice Council of the Portuguese Soccer Federation. No date has been fixed for a final decision.

There is no chance, however, of Porto losing its 2003-04 title as the results for that year have already been ratified.