PSG clinches French title, Tottenham stays close in England
MADRID (AP) — Paris Saint-Germain clinched its fourth straight French league title with a record eight games to spare on Sunday, while Tottenham kept the pressure on Premier League leader Leicester by beating last-place Aston Villa.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored four times as PSG routed Troyes 9-0 to open an unsurmountable 25-point lead over second-place Monaco, while Harry Kane scored twice as Tottenham defeated Aston Villa 2-0 to provisionally move to within two points of tst title rivals.
In Germany, Borussia Dortmund defeated Mainz 2-0 to restore a five-point gap to leader Bayern Munich in a game marked by the death of a fan from a heart attack.
Napoli moved within three points of Italian league leader Juventus with a 1-0 win at struggling Palermo, while third-place Roma stayed close by beating Udinese 2-1.
In Spain, Real Madrid scored late in a 2-1 win over Las Palmas to maintain its grip on third place.
Here is a look at Europe’s top leagues:
Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored four second-half goals as PSG routed Troyes 9-0 to easily win the French title for a fourth straight season. Forward Edinson Cavani scored twice, while midfielders Javier Pastore and Adrien Rabiot also scored in addition to an own goal.
Bankrolled by huge funds from Qatari investor QSI, PSG dominated the league from the start and only lost one game — away to Lyon last month.
“From the first game we said we would set a pace that others would find hard to keep up with and no teams could,” PSG coach Laurent Blanc said. “It’s amazing to win the title after 30 games.”
PSG has an astonishing goal difference of plus 62 — 77 goals scored, 15 conceded — more than four times better than the next-best Lyon, which missed a chance to move into third place after squandering a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at Rennes.
Harry Kane scored twice as Tottenham beat last-place Aston Villa 2-0 to trim the gap to Leicester to two points ahead of the surprise leader’s match against Newcastle on Monday. Spurs are now six points ahead of third-place Arsenal, which was eliminated from the FA Cup after a 2-1 home loss to Watford.
Watford joined Crystal Palace and Everton in an unlikely lineup for the semifinals at Wembley Stadium next month. The last four won’t be completed for a few weeks, after Anthony Martial grabbed an 83rd-minute equalizer for Manchester United in a 1-1 draw against West Ham.
Kane moved level with Leicester striker Jamie Vardy as the league’s top scorer with 19 goals after scoring in the 45th and 48th minutes against Villa, which slipped even closer to relegation. Dele Alli, Kane’s England teammate, set up both goals at Villa Park.
Napoli cut the gap to Serie A leader Juventus to three points with a 1-0 win at relegation-threatened Palermo, while third-place Roma kept the pressure on the top two by beating Udinese 2-1.
Gonzalo Higuain converted a penalty for Napoli — his 27th league goal of the season — to ensure his side kept pace with Juventus, which beat Sassuolo 1-0 on Friday.
“With Juve, we’re talking about a team which has won 18 of its past 19 matches,” Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri said. “We’re happy to be the team that is keeping alive the title chase. But if they continue at this level, we have no chance whatsoever.”
Borussia Dortmund restored a five-point gap behind Bayern Munich with a 2-0 win over Mainz in the Bundesliga, a game marked by the death of a fan who had a heart attack.
Dortmund said another fan was “in a stable condition” in a hospital, also after a heart attack.
Marco Reus and Shinji Kagawa scored the goals to keep Dortmund within range of Bayern with eight games left.
Earlier, an own goal from Albin Ekdal was enough for Bayer Leverkusen to beat visiting Hamburger SV 1-0 and climb to seventh, a point behind Mainz.
Defensive midfielder Casemiro scored in the 89th-minute to earn Real Madrid a 2-1 win at Las Palmas, keeping his team on course for an automatic spot in next season’s Champions League.
Madrid is 12 points behind Barcelona and virtually out of contention for the title with nine rounds left, but it needed the win to stay ahead in the race for third place to avoid an extra qualifying round for the European tournament.
It opened a 10-point gap over fourth-place Villarreal, which lost 4-2 at fifth-place Sevilla.
Sevilla, which won 13th straight home games in the league, is five points behind Villarreal.