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European Weekend In Review

All four Champions League semi-finalists lost over the weekend, with Tuesday’s opponents FC Barcelona and Real Madrid beaten in the same round of matches for the first time in two years and Manchester United following up a setback for rivals Schalke with their own loss at Arsenal. The celebrations were able to begin for Borussia Dortmund, on the other hand, as Jürgen Klopp’s men captured the Bundesliga crown.

Spain
There was a rare sight in the Liga on Saturday as both Barcelona and Real Madrid lost on the same weekend for the first time since May 2009. With Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final decider prominent in the minds of both squads, Barcelona went down 2-1 at Real Sociedad and Madrid were beaten 3-2 at home by Real Zaragoza. The defeat was the first time Madrid coach José Mourinho had lost back-to-back home league games since 2001/02.

England
All eyes will be on Old Trafford next Sunday after the Premier League title title race took a new turn in the wake of Manchester United’s 1-0 loss at Arsenal. With second-placed Chelsea having beaten Tottenham Hotspur 2-1, Carlo Ancelotti’s men can now go top on goal difference if they win at Old Trafford next weekend.

Germany
Dortmund clinched their first Bundesliga crown in nine seasons on Saturday thanks to a 2-0 home win against 1. FC Nürnberg combined with a 2-0 defeat at 1. FC Köln for challengers Bayer Leverkusen. Further back, Bayern Munich leapfrogged Hannover 96 into Germany’s third and final UEFA Champions League place by beating Schalke 4-1, after Hannover had lost 1-0 to Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Italy
AC Milan now require just one more point to wrap up their 18th Scudetto after maintaining their eight-point lead over Inter Milan by beating Bologna 1-0. Champions Inter had kept the race alive by prevailing 2-1 at Aesena thanks to a pair of added-time Giampaolo Pazzini goals, but their inferior head-to-head record means Milan need only draw at Roma on Saturday to end any lingering suspense. At the bottom, Sampdoria stayed a point clear of danger after drawing 3-3 with fellow strugglers Brescia.

France
Lille are back on top of Ligue 1 after beating AC Arles-Avignon 5-0 on Saturday. That took the northern outfit two points clear of Marseille and the titleholders could only respond with a 1-1 draw against visitors AJ Auxerre. Third-placed Lyon were left similarly disappointed after they lost 2-0 at Toulouse, meaning they are ahead of Paris Saint-Germain FC on goal difference only.