- Associated Press - Saturday, March 19, 2016

Leicester won again to maintain its surprising march toward the English Premier League crown on Saturday.

Bayern Munich also protected its league atop the Bundesliga, while Atletico Madrid lost to leave the door open for Barcelona to increase its control of the title race in Spain.

Here is a look at Europe’s top leagues on Saturday:

___

ENGLAND

Jamie Vardy, the EPL top scorer, set up Riyad Mahrez to score his 16th goal of the season at Crystal Palace and clinch Leicester’s third successive 1-0 win.

With seven games remaining, Leicester is eight points clear of Tottenham, which hosts Bournemouth on Sunday, while Arsenal is a further three points back in third after a 2-0 win at Everton.

“We’re going to win the league,” Leicester’s fans chanted continuously in unison at Selhurst Park for more than 15 minutes after the final whistle.

“Our fans are singing - that is fantastic, but we have to stay calm and concentrated,” Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri said.

First-half goals at Goodison Park kept alive Arsenal’s unlikely title chances, with Danny Welbeck running through unchecked to score in the seventh minute and Alex Iwobi marking his first league start with his first league goal in the 42nd minute on a counter-attack.

Tenth-place Chelsea got two goals from Cesc Fabregas to rally for a 2-2 draw against West Ham.

Norwich also beat West Bromwich Albion 1-0, Swansea edged Villa 1-0, and Watford lost 2-1 to Stoke.

GERMANY

Bundesliga top-scorer Robert Lewandowski’s 25th goal of the season was enough for Bayern to comfortably beat Cologne 1-0 and provisionally stretch its lead to eight points.

Lackluster defending allowed him to score in the 10th minute, firing inside the far corner after Xabi Alonso and then Thiago Alcantara encountered a similar lack of resistance.

Dortmund can restore the five-point gap with a win at Augsburg on Sunday.

Genki Haraguchi scored one and set up another for Hertha Berlin to beat Ingolstadt 2-1 and consolidate third place.

Also, Andre Schuerrle scored in injury time to salvage a 1-1 draw for Wolfsburg against Darmstadt.

Hoffenheim won 3-1 at Hamburger SV, Mainz drew at Werder Bremen 1-1, and Eintracht Frankfurt defeated Hannover 1-0.

SPAIN

Atletico stumbled in its pursuit of Barcelona after conceding two late goals to lose at relegation-threatened Sporting Gijon 2-1.

Atletico looked set to maintain its title challenge after Antoine Griezmann scored from a free kick in the first half.

The visitors’ defense resisted Sporting’s attack until a late push produced a free kick that Antonio Sanabria blasted in with 11 minutes to play.

Sporting’s Carlos Castro completed the turnaround with a goal in the 89th with Atletico playing with 10 men after defender Jose Gimenez went down injured after coach Diego Simeone made all three substitutions.

Barcelona leads second-place Atletico by eight points before visiting fourth-place Villarreal on Sunday.

Elsewhere, Deportivo La Coruna beat bottom side Levante 2-1.

Rayo Vallecano drew 2-2 at Granada, Las Palmas won 1-0 at Real Sociedad, and Malaga won 1-0 at Real Betis.

ITALY

Roma kept its grip on the third Champions League qualifying place in Serie A by drawing with Inter Milan 1-1.

Inter stayed five points behind Roma with eight rounds left. The visitors took a second-half lead through Ivan Perisic’s left-footed shot then sat back as Roma pressed for a leveler that came in the 84th minute when Radja Nainggolan finished off a miscued shot by Edin Dzeko.

Empoli and relegation-threatened Palermo also drew 0-0.

FRANCE

Striker Alexandre Lacazette scored his 14th league goal of the season as Lyon beat Nantes 2-0 to move provisionally up to third place in the French league.

Lacazette netted from the penalty spot four minutes into injury time after 19-year-old midfielder Gaetan Perrin put the home side ahead in the 83rd with his first career goal.

Saint-Etienne routed Montpellier 3-0 to stay in seventh place, one point behind Caen, which beat last-place Troyes 2-1.

Also, it was: Lille 1, Toulouse 0; Angers 5, Lorient 1; Reims 0, Guingamp 1.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide