Title watch: A look at Europe’s domestic champions


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.

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.

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.

Racist abuse delays England v. Bulgaria qualifier

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England raced out to an impressive 4-0 lead at Bulgaria by halftime, but the wonderful attacking display was marred by horrendous incidents from the crowd.

The match in the Vasil Levski Stadium in Sofia, Bulgaria was stopped on two occasions with announcements being made to ask sections of the crowd to stop their abusive language. This comes with the stadium already serving a partial stadium closure due to racist chanting from the crowd in previous qualifiers.

Below is UEFA’s protocol on how to intervene in these situations, and what transpired from lead writer Joe Prince-Wright.

Tottenham re-signs goalkeeper Vorm

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With Hugo Lloris set to miss at least another two months of action with a broken elbow, Tottenham has turned to a familiar face to provide some cover between the pipes.

Tottenham announced Monday it had re-signed goalkeeper Michel Vorm to a contract through the end of the 2019-2020 Premier League season. Vorm spent five seasons with Tottenham after signing from Swansea City in 2014. However, after playing second-fiddle to Lloris and later serving as the third backup behind current Tottenham No. 2, Paulo Gazzaniga for the past couple of seasons, Vorm was released at the end of last season.

Its certainly a boost for Tottenham that a player with a long history at the club and plenty of experience was available to help in this situation. Similar to Liverpool picking up Adrian after Alisson Becker’s injury, Tottenham know what it’s getting in Vorm and may play him a few times if Gazzaniga needs a night off in the next few months.

According to Vorm, he had been home in his native Netherlands and was watching the game when he saw Lloris get injured.

“Obviously I saw straight away that he had a bad injury and at the time I thought about how bad it was, Vorm told Tottenham’s website. “After the game I spoke with Jan (Vertonghen), he told me what was going on and I spoke also with Toni (Jimenez, our goalkeeping coach) and, yes, during the week I got the phone call to ask if I was open to come back and help out. I’ve kept in contact with a lot of the players and also with Toni. We were speaking quite regularly and on Thursday he called me, we had the conversation and from there on, it went very quickly.”

In his five seasons with Tottenham, Vorm made a total of 47 appearances in all competitions. He saw plenty of time in the League Cup, FA Cup, UEFA Europa League and Champions League during his stay at White Hart Lane.

In-form striker Duvan Zapata injured on international duty

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This international break has been particularly brutal to clubs who have seen a host of key players go down with injuries, and there’s still a few days of matches remaining.

The latest player to succumb to injury is Atalanta striker Duvan Zapata who returned from Colombia duty with an adductor strain and will miss at least three weeks, according to Sky Sports Italia (via FootballItalia). Zapata went down 23 minutes into Colombia’s 0-0 friendly draw with Chile on Friday and was sent back to Italy for tests at his club.

Those tests have reportedly confirmed the initial fears. The loss of Zapata is a massive one for Atalanta, as the 28-year-old has been steadily building for years and is having a breakout start to this campaign, scoring six Serie A goals in seven matches plus one more in Champions League play, currently on a run of four consecutive games with a goal across all competitions. With Zapata’s help, Atalanta sits third in the Serie A table, having bagged the most goals of any team with 18 through seven games.

Zapata becomes the latest high-profile injury from this international break, joining Colombia teammate Alexis Sanchez who went down late in the same match and is reportedly out until 2020 with a serious ankle injury. Chelsea has been hit the hardest, with Andreas Christensen, Mateo Kovacic, and Reese James all pulling up while N’Golo Kante was injured in France warmups but he is expected to be fit for the weekend. Luka Modric may miss time after going down in a Euro qualifier against Wales, while Gareth Bale also picked up a knock in that match. Neymar went down in Brazil’s match against against Nigeria, which forced manager Tite to explain his reasoning for the selection in a friendly. Sergio Aguero is apparently struggling to train with Argentina thanks to a mystery injury confirmed by Lionel Scaloni. Arsenal’s Dani Ceballos withdrew from Spain training earlier in the week with “hamstring overload.” Atlanta United defender Miles Robinson left USMNT camp with a hamstring problem with the MLS playoffs on the horizon.

Ex-England midfielder Gascoigne on trial for sexual assault

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LONDON (AP) — A prosecutor has alleged that former England midfielder Paul Gascoigne sexually assaulted a woman on a train by “forcibly and sloppily” planting an unwanted kiss on her lips.

Prosecutor William Mousley’s comments Monday came as Gascoigne, who has struggled with alcohol and mental-health problems, went on trial at Teesside Crown Court charged with sexual assault of the female passenger.

Mousley said the former England star “put his hands on her cheeks and kissed her forcibly and sloppily on the lips.”

The 52-year-old Gascoigne denies the charge.

The alleged victim has told the court that she froze when the man, who appeared drunk, kissed her in August 2018. She says she did not realize it was Gascoigne until after the alleged incident.