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 Posted by ESPN Staff
May 17, 2008

Lyon clinches seventh straight Ligue 1 title

PARIS -- Lyon won its seventh consecutive French league title by beating Auxerre 3-1 to finish ahead of Bordeaux.

Lyon finished with 79 points from 38 rounds, while Bordeaux only drew 2-2 at Lens to end with 75 points.

Last season, Lyon finished 17 points clear of Marseille, but was pushed to the last day this time after a nine-point lead over Bordeaux from seven rounds ago was cut to a two-point gap ahead of Saturday.

Lyon put any doubts to rest after just 24 seconds when Karim Benzema swapped passes with Fred and slotted past goalkeeper Remy Riou for his 20th league goal of the season.

Fred put Lyon up 2-0 in the 10th minute, running onto Kader Keita's floated pass over the top of the defense and placing the ball under Riou's body.

Kim Kallstrom headed in Lyon's third goal in the 53rd to put the game away before Frederic Thomas pulled a goal back for Auxerre in the 78th.

Marseille beat Strasbourg 4-3 to clinch third place and a spot in the Champions League qualifying round.

Lens was relegated to the second division, while Toulouse and Paris Saint-Germain both won to ensure their safety.

Germany

BERLIN -- Werder Bremen reached the Champions League for the fifth straight year with a 1-0 win against Bayer Leverkusen on the Bundesliga's final day.

Markus Rosenberg's 79th minute goal with a shot inside the left post ensured a second-place finish for Bremen, while Leverkusen missed out on the UEFA Cup with the loss.

Bremen struggled with injuries all year, before a return of Germany players like Torsten Frings and Tim Borowski led a late surge.

"We had so many injuries and so many things that happened, it was unusual," Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf said. "Maybe if we have everybody again we can have a good season again."

Bremen's win means third-place Schalke must qualify for the Champions League next season.

League champion Bayern Munich, which clinched its 21st title two weeks ago, ended the season with a 4-1 win at home against Hertha Berlin as the fans formed a sea of red-and-white colors.

Goalkeeper Oliver Kahn retired with Bayern setting a record for the fewest goals allowed in a season. The team conceded just 21 over 34 rounds, breaking the mark set by Werder Bremen in 1988.

"I'm really looking forward to a beautiful day, and I can do whatever I want," Kahn said.

Kahn left the field with six minutes to play to a standing ovation from the 70,000 at Munich's Allianz Arena. Bayern coach Ottmar Hitzfeld, who is also leaving the club, broke into tears when he got the same reception after the final whistle.

Italy

GENOA, Italy -- Juventus captain Alessandro Del Piero took over the Serie A scoring lead with two goals in a 3-3 draw with Sampdoria, the teams' final match of the season.

Del Piero finished with 21 goals, while teammate David Trezeguet also scored once to take his tally to 20. Only Genoa's Marco Borriello -- who has 19 goals entering his final match of the season at Atalanta on Sunday -- has a legitimate chance at catching Del Piero.

Del Piero scored first in the seventh minute off a pass from Pavel Nedved, then earned a penalty that Trezeguet converted in the 16th to make it 2-0 for Juventus.

Antonio Cassano hit back with a solo effort for Sampdoria in the 22nd, and Christian Maggio equalized in the 39th.

Del Piero earned and converted a penalty in the 65th to put Juventus 3-2 up, then exited six minutes later. Sampdoria forward Vincenzo Montella scored the final equalizer in the 80th, off a cross from Cassano.

Both Cassano and Del Piero are still trying to secure spots on Italy's European Championship roster.

Having returned from a year in Serie B due to the Italian match-fixing scandal, Juventus ends the season in third place.

Inter Milan leads with 82 points, followed by AS Roma (81), Juventus (72), Fiorentina (63), Sampdoria (62) and AC Milan (61). Inter and Roma's fight for the Serie A title will be determined in the final set of games Sunday. Inter visits Parma and Roma plays at Catania.

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