Barcelona wins Spanish title, Man United looking at 4th
Barcelona clinched its 23rd Spanish league title on Sunday thanks to — who else — Lionel Messi.
It wasn’t the only title to be handed out in Europe, as the Portuguese, Russian and Ukrainian leagues were also decided. In the Premier League, Arsenal stayed ahead of Manchester United in the fight for third place after a draw at Old Trafford.
Here is a look at the major action from Europe:
Messi scored the winning goal in the 65th minute as Barcelona beat beat dethroned champion Atletico Madrid 1-0 in the Spanish capital.
Messi slotted in a low shot after exchanging passes with Pedro Rodriguez. It was Messi’s 41st goal of the season and powered Barcelona to its seventh league title in the last 11 years.
Real Madrid will finish runner-up despite Cristiano Ronaldo scoring a hat trick in a 4-1 win at Espanyol. It trails Barcelona by four points with one round left.
Atletico, which won the title last year in a winner-take-all finale at Barcelona, was left in third place.
Manchester United will probably have to go the longer route to reach the group stage of the Champions League next season.
A 1-1 draw with Arsenal left United facing a likely fourth-place finish in the Premier League, which will send the team into the final qualifying round of the Champions League.
Ander Herrera opened the scoring for United in the 30th, but Tyler Blackett’s late own-goal earned Arsenal a point that kept it in third place, two points ahead of United.
Manchester City is second behind Chelsea after beating Swansea 4-2 to move five points ahead of Arsenal, having played a game more.
Benfica clinched the Portuguese league title despite a 0-0 draw at Guimaraes after FC Porto was held 1-1 at Belenenses.
Benfica won its first back-to-back titles in 31 years and its 34th league crown in club history after it protected a three-point lead with one round to go. Benfica holds the head-to-head advantage with Porto.
Porto looked set to push the title race to the final round of the season after Jackson Martinez scored in the 44th minute, but Belenenses’ Tiago Caeiro equalized with five minutes left.
Roma came from behind to beat Udinese 2-1 and leapfrog city rival Lazio in the battle for second spot in Serie A.
Roma moved a point above Lazio. The two meet in the penultimate match of the season next weekend, four days after Lazio plays Serie A champion Juventus in the Italian Cup final.
Domenico Berardi netted a hat trick against AC Milan to give Sassuolo a 3-2 win. Milan had canceled out a two-goal deficit but had Giacomo Bonaventura and Suso sent off.
Cagliari was relegated as it lost 1-0 at home to Palermo, a result that guaranteed Atalanta safety despite a 4-1 loss to Genoa, while Torino beat Chievo Verona 2-0 and Hellas Verona won 2-1 against Empoli.
Zenit St. Petersburg won the Russian Premier League for the fourth time Sunday, securing the title by drawing 1-1 with FC Ufa.
Zenit, which last won the championship in 2012, has dominated the league all season as its big-spending strategy finally paid off. One of its expensive acquisitions, Brazilian striker Hulk, scored Zenit’s goal Sunday with a fierce free kick.
Sunday’s draw gives Zenit an unbeatable eight-point lead with two games left to play.
CSKA Moscow and FC Krasnodar are fighting for the second of Russia’s two Champions League spots. They are level on points after Krasnodar drew 2-2 with Torpedo Moscow on Sunday.
Dynamo Kiev won the Ukrainian league title Sunday for the first time in six years.
Croatian defender Domagoj Vida scored the winner from a corner in the 84th minute to give Dynamo a 1-0 win over Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk. That gives Dynamo an unassailable seven-point lead over second-place Shakhtar Donetsk with two games remaining. Dynamo is two games away from completing an unbeaten season in the league, with 19 wins and five draws so far.