Bayern Munich finish German season 25 points ahead of Borussia Dortmund

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The bottom line in the Bundesliga: 25 points. That’s the margin at the top of the league after today’s final round, one which saw Bayern Munich claim victory while Borussia Dortmund fell at home.

Bayern appeared headed for that same end when they fell behind early. Martin Stranzl and Mike Hanke had Borussia Moenchengladbach on the board twice within five minutes, with Javi Martínez’s goal equalized by Havard Nordveit before the quarter hour-mark.

Franck Ribery, who finished with two goals and two assists, pulled Bayern even with goals in the 18th and 53rd minutes, while Arjen Robben provided the match-winner in the 59th.

The game marked the first time since January 2012 that a team has scored three against Bayern in league play. Then it was also Borussia Moechengladbach, who defeated FCB 3-1 at Borussia-Park.

The result leaves Bayern with 29 wins in 34 league matches. They finish with 98 goals, a +80 difference, 91 points and only 18 goals allowed. All this in one of the best leagues in Europe, with fellow Champions League finalists Borussia Dortmund sitting in second place. The gap between first and second was greater than the gap between second and 13th.

For their part, Dortmund has done little over the last couple of weeks to prevent that 25-point gap. With their loss to Hoffenheim today (a result that allowed Hoffenheim to leap out of the automatic relegation spots), Dortmund has taken only two points from their last three games, even though Jurgen Klopp started a first choice side this afternoon.

That choice looked set to pay off when Robert Lewandowski scored his 24th goal of the season in the sixth minute. That lead held until late when Sejad Salihovic equalized from the spot after a penalty called on Mats Hummels. Five minutes later, Salihovic again converted a penalty kick, this time beating winger Kevin Grosskreutz, who was replacing a red carded Roman Weidenfeller.

Undoubtedly, both teams are focused on next Saturday, when the clubs will meet at Wembley with UEFA Champions League on the line. But whereas Dortmund will need to reestablish some momentum, Bayern has scarcely missed a beat since confirming their rout of Barcelona. With their Pokal final against Stuttgart slated for June 1, Bayern still look like good bets to win their treble.

Pep sticking with Bravo for final: “Locker room more important”

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Petr Cech and Ederson will watch from the bench as their clubs start the League Cup Final on Sunday.

Pep Guardiola announced that Manchester City will turn to Claudio Bravo between the sticks against Arsenal, which has already appointed David Ospina as its backstop for the final.

[ MORE: Europa League draw ]

And if you think Pep, having seen his side lose to Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup, should go back to Ederson for the final, he gets it.

“You can have an opinion, I am the manager. We are here for Claudio. He saved two lots of penalties. He deserves to play in the final. The locker room is more important than the final.”

The points aren’t completely independent, of course, but at this point the final is pretty darn important as Man City could see its trophy potential drop from 4-2 in little more than a week’s time.

Bravo has played just 45 minutes in the Premier League, against Liverpool in relief of Ederson, but has been the man for each of eight League and FA Cup matches.

City has just one clean sheet in that group, but won the seven matches apart from the 1-0 Wigan defeat. Two of those, against Wolves and Leicester, came in penalty kicks.

Arsenal gets AC Milan in Europa League Round of 16

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Arsenal’s path to the UEFA Champions League just got a whole lot tougher.

[ MORE: Arsenal loses 2nd leg, advances ]

Already eight points back of the Premier League’s Top Four, the Gunners have drawn Gennaro Gattuso’s AC Milan in the UEFA Europa League’s Round of 16.

The first leg is March 8 at the San Siro before moving to the Emirates a week later.

Milan is currently 7th in Serie A despite its big-spending summer, and faces a similar problem to the Gunners; Gattuso’s men need to make up eight points on Lazio and seven on fifth-place Inter Milan.

Elsewhere, Moscovian sides CSKA and Lokomotiv got no favors with trips to Lyon and Atletico Madrid, respectively.

Christian Pulisic and Borussia Dortmund will be pleased to see Red Bull Salzburg, while the latter’s sister club, RB Leipzig, was held apart from it by a draw with Zenit Saint-Petersbug.

Here’s the draw in full.

UEFA Europa League Round of 16
Lazio vs. Dynamo Kiev
RB Leipzig vs. Zenit St Petersburg
Atletico Madrid vs. Lokomotiv Moscow
CSKA Moscow vs. Lyon
Marseille vs. Athletic Bilbao
Sporting Lisbon vs. Viktoria Plzen
Borussia Dortmund vs. Red Bull Salzburg
AC Milan vs. Arsenal

CCL: Lodeiro from 45; Royer’s diving header — SEA, RBNY lead (video)

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After 45 minutes of their respective CONCACAF Champions League knockout-round quests, things are going unnervingly well for the Seattle Sounders and New York Red Bulls.

[ MORE: FC Dallas disappoint in CCL; Club America flying ]

If you’ve watched Major League Soccer teams try, try and try again — only to eventually fail in spectacular fashion — in CCL over the years, you might say things are going a little too well.

There’s still another 45 minutes to be played on Thursday — plus the return legs next week — but both the Sounders and Red Bulls hold 1-0 halftime leads, and the vitally important away goals which come with it. Nicolas Lodeiro’s 45-yard, first-time lob of the Santa Tecla (El Salvador) goalkeeper in the 15th minute has already been eternally etched into the memories of Sounders fans.

Just 15 minutes later, Daniel Royer perfectly executed the diving header and got on the end of Bradley Wright-Phillips’ curling ball into the box to Jesse Marsch’s side ahead of Honduran side CD Olimpia.

Villarreal DF Semedo charged with attempted murder

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MADRID (AP) A Spanish judge has charged Villarreal defender Ruben Semedo with attempted murder and ordered him to be temporarily detained without bail.

Court officials in Lliria say on Thursday the Portuguese player is also charged with assault, robbery, illegal detention, and illegal possession of firearms.

Semedo testified before a judge on Thursday, and left the court in handcuffs.

The 23-year-old Semedo was detained early Tuesday, accused of tying up, assaulting and threatening another man last week. Authorities say he and two other men allegedly held the victim captive while they robbed his apartment.

Semedo’s agents told Spanish media the player denies any wrongdoing.

Villarreal on Tuesday said it was investigating Semedo and would take appropriate disciplinary action.

Villarreal signed Semedo from Sporting Lisbon last summer for a reported fee of $17 million.