Title watch: A look at Europe’s domestic champions

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As the domestic seasons across Europe come to a close, champions have been crowned in all of the major leagues. Below we take a quick look at the clubs that will be lifting a trophy come season’s end.

Barclays Premier League (England): Chelsea

Manager: Jose Mourinho
Top scorer: Diego Costa
Record: W25, D9, L2, 84 pts (Two matches remaining)
Title: 4 (First since 2009-10)

Jose Mourinho’s Blues were the best side in the Premier League from day one, setting a record for the most days spent at the top of the table in a single season. Eden Hazard was named the PFA Player of the Year, while Diego Costa led the team in scoring in his first season at Stamford Bridge.

La Liga (Spain): Barcelona

Manager: Luis Enrique
Top scorer: Lionel Messi
Record:W30, D3. L4, 93 pts (One match remaining)
Title: 23 (Seventh title in past 10 seasons)

Barcelona battled Real Madrid for the La Liga title all season long, but Luis Enrique’s men had just enough to clinch the trophy with one match remaining. Now the Catalans will focus on winning the treble, facing off against Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey final before heading to Berlin to take on Juventus in the Champions League final.

Serie A (Italy): Juventus

Manager: Massimiliano Allegri
Top scorer: Carlos Tevez
Record: W25, D8, L3, 83 pts (Two matches remaining)
Title: 31 (Fourth consecutive Serie A title)

Juventus claimed its fourth consecutive Serie A title as Max Allegri’s men dominated Italy’s top flight. Juve claimed the title with four games to play and is also in the hunt for a treble, with the Coppa Italia final against Lazio this Wednesday before the Champions League final June 6th.

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Paris Saint-Germain celebrates in front of the home support at Parc des Princes.

Ligue 1 (France): PSG

Manager: Laurent Blanc
Top scorer: Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Record: W23, D11, L3, 80 pts (One match remaining)
Title: 5 (Third consecutive Ligue 1 title)

Paris Saint-Germain takes home the Ligue 1 trophy for the third consecutive season as Zlatan & Co. lost only three matches all season long. With success in France’s domestic competitions, the next step forward is progress in the Champions League, as the Parisians have lost in the quarterfinals the past two seasons.

Bundesliga (Germany): Bayern Munich

Manager: Pep Guardiola
Top scorer: Arjen Robben
Record: W24, D4, L5, 76 pts (One match remaining)
Title: 25 (Third consecutive Bundesliga title)

Bayern Munich’s dominance of the Bundesliga continued with the Bavarians claiming their third consecutive title, the 25th in club history. Bayern enjoyed the best first half of a season in Bundesliga history and Pep Guardiola’s men walked to the title. Unfortunately, they were bounced from the both the Champions League and the German Cup in the semifinals.

Eredivisie (Netherlands): PSV Eindhoven

Manager: Phillip Cocu
Top scorer: Memphis Depay
Record: W29, D1, L4, 88 pts 
Title: 22 (First since 2007-08)

Soon-to-be Manchester United-man Memphis Depay led PSV Eindhoven to the clubs’ 22nd Eredivisie title and first since 2008. Depay’s 22 goals led the Eredivisie as PSV scored 23 more times than any other team. Eindhoven didn’t lose a single game at home, winning 16 and drawing one.

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Benfica has won back-to-back Primeira Liga titles.

Primeira Liga (Portugal): Benfica

Manager: Jorge Jesus
Top scorer: Lima
Record: W26, D4, L3, 82 pts (One match remaining)
Title: 34 (Back-to-back Primeira Liga titles)

Benfica won its first back-to-back Primeira Liga titles in 31 years after repeating their success from last season. Jorge Jesus’ men have kept 20 clean sheets through 33 matches, conceding just 15 times on the season. Rivals FC Porto finish the season without a trophy for the first time since 1989.

Russian Premier League (Russia): Zenit St. Petersburg

Manager: Andre Villas-Boas
Top scorer: Hulk
Record: W19, D7, L2, 64 pts (Two matches remaining)
Title: 4 (First since 2011-12)

Former Chelsea and Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas led Zenit St. Petersburg to the Russian Premier League title, his first trophy since winning the Primeira Liga with Porto in 2011. With a club willing to spend big bucks to bring glory to Russian football, Zenit’s next step is European success.

Serie A: Leaders Inter Milan open door for Juve by drawing Roma

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MILAN (AP) Italian league leader Inter Milan was held by Roma to 0-0 on Friday, giving second-placed Juventus a chance to return to the top.

[ MORE: Chelsea transfer ban reduced; can sign players in January ]

The home draw left Inter only two points ahead of Juventus, which can regain the lead when it visits third-placed Lazio on Saturday.The result also wasn’t good for Roma, which moved from fifth to fourth place in the standings but remained nine points off the lead after 15 matches.

Inter forward Lautaro Martinez had one of the game’s best chances when he got past a defender and entered the area in the 68th minute, but his shot was blocked at the last minute. He called for a handball by the defender but the referee let play continue.

[ MORE: Brendan Rodgers signs new contract at Leicester ]

Inter was coming off five straight wins in the league, with its last setback in all competitions last month against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League. Its last league loss was against Juventus in October, nine matches ago.

Roma was seeking its third straight league win. It had won five of its last six matches since last month.

Inter visits Barcelona in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Premier League Preview: Man City v. Man United

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  • Man City (3rd) trail Liverpool by 11 points
  • Man United (6th) eight points out of 4th
  • Last meeting: Man United 0-2 Man City

For the first time in recent memory, Manchester City and Manchester United each find themselves failing to meet expectations — by their own respective standards, at least — as they prepare to meet at the Etihad Stadium in the 179th Manchester derby on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and NBCSports.com).

Man City, the two-time defending Premier League champions, are looking increasingly unlikely to retain their crown for a third straight season but look a surefire bet to finish in the top-four, which is a place for which Man United would bite your hand off as they currently trail leaders Liverpool by more points (22) than they have points of their own (21).

[ STREAM: Every PL match live

The struggles for United have been all about consistency as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s side hasn’t won back-to-back games all season. The Red Devils haven’t won two in a row in the PL since March. On the bright side, United turned in one of their complete performances of the season on Wednesday, spoiling Jose Mourinho’s return to Old Trafford and beating Tottenham Hotspur 2-1. Marcus Rashford scored both goals and Solskjaer couldn’t rave enough about his 22-year-old forward after the game. From start to finish, United were the better team and looked in majority control, which isn’t something they’ve been able to say often in 2019.

As for City, they’ve simply been “not good enough” without ever actually being “bad” this season, given Liverpool’s scintillating form (14W-1D-0L thus far). Realistically, City likely need to pick up all 69 remaining points this season, and even then they might still come up short.

Injuries/suspensions

Man City: OUT – Sergio Aguero (thigh), Aymeric Laporte (knee), Leroy Sane (knee), Oleksandr Zinchenko (knee)

Man United: OUT – Anthony Martial (hamstring), Eric Bailly (knee), Marcos Rojo (undisclosed); QUESTIONABLE: Paul Pogba (ankle), Nemanja Matic (groin), Diogo Dalot (groin)


Projected lineups

Man City: Ederson — Walker, Otamendi, Fernandinho, Angeliño — Rodri, De Bruyne, Silva — Bernardo, Jesus, Sterling

Man United: De Gea — Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Young — Fred, McTominay, James, Mata, Lingard — Rashford


What they’re saying

Pep Guardiola, on the derby: “It’s Man United. I respect what they’ve done for English football, European, and world football. United have huge history and their quality is always there but we must try to beat them. We play against a good team, try to follow the performances we’ve put in and try to win the game. You know my opinion on the title race.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, on his derby memories: “It took many years before I played a Manchester derby myself. Of course, Man City are a better team now than when I was playing. … Confidence is a strange thing in football; you can get performances and results like Wednesday night and it boosts it so much. And I know our boys will be up for it. 24 hours less recovery time [than City] shouldn’t matter, you go on adrenaline.”


Prediction

The win over Tottenham was impressive, no doubt about it, but City remain a challenge of an entirely different class, no matter what their points total says. If the title is well and truly gone for Guardiola’s side, then retaining superiority in Manchester will have to suffice. City 3-1 United.

Klinsmann gets first point as Hertha Berlin manager

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FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) Jurgen Klinsmann claimed his first point since returning to coaching as his Hertha Berlin team let slip a two-goal lead to draw with Frankfurt 2-2 in the Bundesliga on Friday.

[ MORE: Chelsea transfer ban reduced; can sign players in January ]

Hertha was clinging to a 2-1 lead in the 86th minute when Sebastian Rode hammered the ball in from a corner for Frankfurt to deny the Berlin team the win.

Hertha is in the relegation playoff spot in 16th and winless in its last six league games, while Frankfurt is 10th.

Dodi Lukebakio gave Hertha the lead with a shot through Frederik Ronnow’s legs. That goal was assisted by Marko Grujic, who later made it 2-0 with a header from a free kick.

However, Frankfurt almost immediately replied with a header of its own from Martin Hinteregger, the Austrian defender with five Bundesliga goals.

[ MORE: Brendan Rodgers signs new contract at Leicester ]

Frankfurt’s fans expressed their disapproval of the video assistant referee after it ruled out two goals for the hosts. There was a rare disallowed own goal when Hertha goalkeeper Thomas Kraft palmed a cross into his own net but was found to have been pushed while jumping.

Klinsmann took over Hertha last week on a temporary deal until the end of the season, after Ante Covic was fired with the team under threat of relegation. Klinsmann hadn’t coached since being fired in 2016 by the United States, and last worked at a club in 2009 at Bayern Munich.

Nigel Pearson appointed new Watford manager

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Nigel Pearson has been appointed new manager of Watford and been handed a very straightforward — but tall — task for the remainder of the season: avoid relegation from the Premier League.

[ MORE: Chelsea transfer ban reduced; can sign players in January ]

Pearson takes over from Quique Sanchez Flores — who only took over from Javi Gracia in September — who left his post at Vicarage Road with the Hornets sitting 20th out of 20 teams in the PL table, already seven points adrift from safety. Pearson’s contract runs through the end of the season.

The 56-year-old Pearson, who last managed in the PL with Leicester City in 2015, was most recently in charge of Belgian side OH Leuven before he was fired in February.

[ MORE: Brendan Rodgers signs new contract at Leicester ]

Pearson won’t take charge of Saturday’s game against Crystal Palace (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET, on NBC Sports Gold). Interim manager Hayden Mullins will see out the week’s preparations and manage the team before handing the reins to Pearson on Sunday.