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 Posted by ESPN Staff
May, 4, 2008

Real Madrid, Bayern Munich win titles

Real Madrid and Bayern Munich won their respective league titles Sunday despite less-than-stellar performances.

Madrid needed two late goals to beat Osasuna 2-1 in the Spanish league to win its record 31st title. Arjen Robben tied the score for 10-man Madrid in the 87th minute and Gonzalo Higuain added the second goal in the 89th.

Bayern won its 21st German title after a 0-0 tie at VfL Wolfsburg.

Inter Milan had a chance to win the Italian league title Sunday, but it lost to city rival AC Milan 2-1.

Spain
MADRID, Spain -- Real Madrid won its record 31st Spanish league title by getting late goals from Gonzalo Higuain and Arjen Robben in a 2-1 win at Osasuna.

Higuain scored with a hard shot from the right in the 88th minute, two minutes after Robben headed in a cross from Fernando Gago.

Francisco Punal had put the hosts in the lead from the penalty spot in the 83rd. Osasuna was awarded the penalty after Madrid defender Gabriel Heinze handled the ball inside the area as he leapt to challenge a cross.

Madrid played much of the match with 10 men following Fabio Cannavaro's ejection in the 46th.

The win gives Madrid 78 points -- 10 more than second-place Villarreal -- with only three games remaining.

Villarreal managed to postpone Madrid's title celebrations for a few hours by beating Getafe 2-0. Nihat Kahveci scored both goals.

Getafe was in control at Villarreal until the 37th minute, when Giuseppe Rossi chested down a long ball and broke past defender Cata Diaz before finding Nihat with a pass across the goal for an easy score.

Robert Pires found the Turkey striker alone again on the right side in the 44th and he shot high to beat goalkeeper Roberto Abbondanzieri.

Thierry Henry and Bojan Krkic scored two goals each, and Lionel Messi and Xavi Hernandez added the others as third-place Barcelona routed Valencia 6-0.

Germany
BERLIN -- Bayern Munich won the Bundesliga title after a 0-0 tie at VfL Wolfsburg.

Toni Kroos had Bayern's best chance in the 73rd minute, putting a shot just outside the right post. But it became clear that neither team was going to be able to score in the final minutes, handing the title to Bayern.

Bayern, which also won the German Cup last month, has a 10-point lead over second-place Werder Bremen with only three games remaining.

Bayern overcame a poor performance to get its point, allowing 18 attempts before the break -- a team record since the statistic was first recorded in 1992.

A party for Bayern won't be held until May 17 when Bayern plays its final game in Munich against Hertha Berlin. But thousands of fans chanted and screamed as the final seconds ticked off.

Bayern also won a title in 1932, which came before the league was formed, making it German champion for the 21st time.

London
LONDON -- Arsenal needed a late header from Nicklas Bendtner to beat Everton 1-0 in the English Premier League, and Liverpool beat Manchester City by the same score.

Bendtner jumped to head a cross from Armand Traore past American goalkeeper Tim Howard in the 77th minute.

The win gives Arsenal a chance to overtake Chelsea for second place and an automatic spot in the group stage of next season's Champions League.

Arsenal, with 80 points, trails Chelsea by one, but the Blues have two games to go and can win the league title. Manchester United leads the league with 84 points with one game remaining -- at Wigan next Sunday.

Chelsea plays at Newcastle on Monday and then hosts Bolton in the final round next Sunday.

"We can still finish second if Chelsea loses one game and draws another one," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said. "But Bolton are safe and having seen West Ham against Manchester United yesterday, I have very little hope Bolton will make a result at Chelsea."

United and Chelsea also play in the Champions League final on May 21 in Moscow.

Liverpool, which got a 23rd-minute goal from Fernando Torres, has 73 points and has already secured fourth place.

Everton could have guaranteed itself a spot in the UEFA Cup with a tie. The team hosts Newcastle on the final day of the season next Sunday.

West Bromwich Albion and Stoke were promoted from the League Championship and will play in the Premier League next season. Leicester, Scunthorpe and Colchester were relegated to League One.

Italy
MILAN, Italy -- Inter Milan will have to wait at least one more week for its third straight Italian league title after losing to city rival AC Milan 2-1.

Filippo Inzaghi scored in the 51st minute -- his ninth goal in the last five games -- with a header off a cross from Kaka. Five minutes later, Kaka made it 2-0 by beating Inter goalkeeper Julio Cesar with a low shot from inside the area. Inter striker Julio Ricardo Cruz cut Milan's lead with a free kick in the 76th.

Second-place AS Roma defeated Sampdoria 3-0 to cut Inter's lead to three points with two games left in the season.

Inter has 81 points, followed by Roma with 78 and Juventus with 70. Inter beat Roma 4-1 in their first meeting this year in Rome and the teams tied 1-1 in Milan, which means that Inter takes the title if the teams finish with the same number of points.

Inter needs one victory in its last two games to win the title. If Roma loses one of its last two games, Inter would also win.

Milan's victory moved it into fourth place, one point ahead of Fiorentina, and into the last spot for next year's Champions League.

Scotland
GLASGOW, Scotland -- Rangers was held to a 0-0 tie by Hibernian in the Scottish Premier League.

Rangers, which reached the UEFA Cup final on Thursday, trails leader Celtic by seven points but has played three fewer games.

Rangers plays Motherwell on Wednesday and Dundee United on Saturday.

After the UEFA Cup final against Zenit St. Petersburg on May 14 in Manchester, England, Rangers has league games against Motherwell, St. Mirren and Aberdeen before the Scottish Cup final on May 24 against Queen of the South.

France
PARIS -- Bordeaux moved within two points of French leader Lyon by beating Marseille 2-1.

Wendel and Pierre Ducasse scored a goal each for Bordeaux after Mamadou Niang had given the hosts the lead late in the first half.

Saint-Etienne and Lille, both chasing a spot in next season's UEFA Cup, tied 0-0. The draw means fifth-place Saint-Etienne has 54 points from 36 games -- one point more then Lille with two games remaining.

Greece
ATHENS, Greece -- Panathinaikos and AEK Athens both won in the Greek league playoffs.

Panathinaikos got two goals from Manucho in a 2-1 win over Panionios 2-1, while AEK beat Aris 1-0 off a goal from Nikos Lymberopoulos.

The winner of the playoff group will advance to the qualifying round of next season's Champions League.

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