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European roundup: Real Madrid move to within four points of title at Osasuna


Real Madrid continued their march towards a 35th La Liga title as goals from David Alaba, Marco Asensio and Lucas Vázquez earned them a 3-1 win at Osasuna on Wednesday, with Karim Benzema missing two penalties.

The victory means Real have 78 points and hold a 17-point lead at the top over their closest rivals Atlético Madrid, who were held to a goalless draw by Granada. Barcelona in third and fourth-placed Sevilla are a point further back and both play on Thursday.

Real need four more points from their remaining five games to secure the title.

Alaba opened the scoring in the 12th minute, finishing with a close-range strike following a free-kick but Osasuna equalised two minutes later as Ante Budimir scored after a counter-attack.

Asensio was in the right place at the right time to strike home a rebound from a Dani Ceballos shot inside the six-yard box.

Benzema wasted two great opportunities to extend Real’s lead, missing two penalties in less than five minutes in the second half, with both saved by the goalkeeper Sergio Herrera.

It was not until the last move of the game when Real sealed the deal with Vázquez finishing a counter attack led by the substitute Vinícius Júnior.

Atlético missed a golden opportunity in the battle for second place after they were held by lowly Granada at the Metropolitano Stadium.

Missing several starters because of injury and suspension, Atlético created few chances and rarely troubled the Granada goalkeeper Luís Maximiano. The home side came closest to breaking the deadlock in added time when the striker Matheus Cunha expertly controlled a clever pass inside the box, but his effort crashed against the left post.

In Turin, Juventus set up a Coppa Italia final showdown with Internazionale after goals from Federico Bernardeschi and Danilo earned them a 2-0 win in the second leg of their semi-final against Fiorentina on Wednesday, sealing a 3-0 aggregate success.

Having snatched a fortunate victory in the first leg in Florence thanks to a last-gasp own goal, Juve set about dominating from the off, but they struggled to turn their possession into chances early on.

Danilo
Danilo (bottom, second left) is mobbed after sealing Juventus’ win over Fiorentina. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The Serbian striker Dusan Vlahovic, facing his former club, saw his close-range effort saved before Bernardeschi’s fine finish gave the hosts the lead in the 32nd minute.

Adrien Rabiot had the ball in the net in the second half but his strike was ruled out following a VAR review. With Fiorentina committing bodies forward down the other end, Danilo managed to put the game to bed in stoppage time.

With Massimiliano Allegri’s side trailing the Serie A leaders Milan by eight points with five games left, Juve’s best chance of landing a trophy this season remains in the Coppa Italia, where they will face Inter in the final on 11 May.

RB Leipzig will play Freiburg in the DFB-Pokal final after a last-minute goal by the substitute Emil Forsberg gave them a 2-1 home win against Union Berlin on Wednesday. Forsberg scored with a bullet header to seal the game for the hosts in stoppage time.

The winger Sheraldo Becker gave Union the lead in the 25th minute after he received a superb lofted pass from Christopher Trimmel and finished with a tidy first-time shot from inside the box.

Union could have doubled their lead 12 minutes into the second half when Becker passed across the face of the goal but Taiwo Awoniyi arrived a fraction late. Instead, Leipzig‘s striker Andre Silva levelled from the spot after an hour, when Christopher Nkunku was fouled by Paul Jaeckel and the penalty was awarded following a VAR review.

Leipzig will head into the 21 May final in Berlin in search of their first major trophy having lost the 2021 final 4-1 against Borussia Dortmund and losing 3-0 against Bayern Munich in 2019.

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In Ligue 1, Paris Saint-Germain are on the verge of a record-equalling 10th French title after goals by Kylian Mbappé, Sergio Ramos and Marquinhos earned them a 3-0 victory at Angers in on Wednesday.

The result put PSG on 77 points, leading second-placed Marseille, who beat Nantes 3-2, by 15 points with five games left. Should PSG avoid defeat at the Parc des Princes against Lens on Saturday, they will clinch the title that puts them level on 10 with St-Étienne, who won their titles between 1957 and 1981.

Rennes are third on 56 points after losing 2-1 at Strasbourg, who are now fourth behind them on goal difference.
Also on 56 points are fifth-placed Monaco who beat Nice 1-0 at home.

The top two qualify directly for the Champions League group stage while the third-placed side will play in the third qualifying round.



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