[Weekender] Elderly life has silver lining

Madrid slips in race as Barca rolls

Ki Sung-yueng, Son Heung-min find scoring touch

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Published : 2014-03-27 20:10
Updated : 2014-03-27 20:10

Sunderland’s Ki Sung-yueng celebrates his goal against Liverpool. ( AP-Yonhap)
BARCELONA (AP) ― Real Madrid lost 2-1 at Sevilla on Wednesday to slip behind Atletico Madrid and Barcelona in the race for the Spanish league title Wednesday.

Cristiano Ronaldo put Madrid in charge with his league-leading 27th goal of the season in the 14th minute, but Sevilla striker Carlos Bacca scored twice, in the 19th and 73rd, to complete the comeback.

Diego Costa’s second-half header gave Atletico a 1-0 victory at home over Granada as it moved three points clear of Madrid with eight rounds remaining.

Lionel Messi and Neymar helped Barcelona stay one point behind Atletico as it rose into second place, but the 3-0 win over Celta Vigo came at the cost of goalkeeper Victor Valdes tearing a right knee ligament.

England

Title-chasing Liverpool overcame an attack of nerves to squeeze to a 2-1 win over Sunderland and move to within a point of leader Chelsea in the Premier League.

Steven Gerrard’s free kick and Daniel Sturridge’s deflected shot put Liverpool two goals clear by the 48th minute, but the pressure of being a serious challenger for the title for the first time since 2009 showed in the final half-hour.

Ki Sung-yueng’s 76th-minute header came amid a dominant spell for the relegation-threatened visitors but Liverpool hung on in the last minutes to seal a seventh-straight league win.

Hope has turned into expectation at Anfield these past few weeks as Liverpool ― the dominant side in England in the late 1970s and 1980s ― has launched a title challenge against all odds.

The victory lifted Liverpool into second place with seven games left ― two points above Manchester City, which has two games in hand over the sides above them. 
Barcelona’s Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring against Celta Vigo on Wednesday. (AP-Yonhap)

Germany

Former Bundesliga champion Stuttgart fell into the relegation zone on Wednesday by losing 2-0 at Nuremberg, and Hamburg also came closer to dropping into second division by drawing 1-1 at home to Freiburg.

One day after Bayern Munich clinched its 24th league title, two storied clubs found themselves facing an uphill battle to avoid being demoted.

Nuremberg lifted itself from the relegation zone with its win after a brace by Josip Drmic. Freiburg stayed in 15th place, two points ahead of Hamburg, another former champion and the only club never to be relegated from the Bundesliga. A 16th-place finish means a playoff against a second-division team for a place in the top division.

Stuttgart and Hamburg are three points above bottom Eintracht Braunschweig.

Bayer Leverkusen won 3-1 in Augsburg to end a nine-game run without a victory in all competitions, Eintracht Frankfurt edged Borussia Moenchengladbach 1-0 and Hoffenheim edged 10-man Hannover 3-1.

Stuttgart won the last of its three championships in 2007 but the club is now two points from safety, just like Hamburg. Wednesday’s loss hurt even more because it came against a direct rival in the battle against relegation.

Nuremberg ended a four-match losing streak, with Drmic bringing his season total to 15 goals by scoring either side of halftime.

Leverkusen had lost five of its last six in the Bundesliga but Stefan Kiessling scored his 13th goal of the season to put his team ahead. Augsburg pulled one back through Tobias Werner, but Son Heung-min and Emre Can scored late in the match to secure Leverkusen’s win. Leverkusen strengthened its grip on fourth place and has three points more than Wolfsburg in fifth.

Italy

Carlos Tevez scored twice to move atop the Serie A scoring chart and help league leader Juventus beat 10-man Parma 2-1 for a record 15th home win.

Tevez has now scored 18 league goals in his first season at Juventus following his move from Manchester City.

Cristian Molinaro reduced the deficit but Parma striker Amauri was sent off three minutes later.

Juventus restored its 14-point advantage over Roma, which beat Torino 2-1 on Tuesday and has played a game less than its rivals.

Napoli moved six points behind Roma with a 4-2 win at Catania and boosted its chances of securing the final Champions League spot as Fiorentina lost 2-0 at home to AC Milan.

Scotland

Celtic clinched its third straight Scottish league title in stylish and typically dominant fashion, beating Partick Thistle 5-1 to take an unassailable 26-point lead in the standings with seven matches still to play.

Anthony Stokes scored twice and Liam Henderson, Stefan Johansen and Kris Commons grabbed the other goals for Celtic, which secured the championship at the earliest date in the calendar since 1929.

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