BERLIN: Honours ended even in Germany’s Champions League Final rehearsal when Manuel Neuer saved a Robert Lewandowski penalty in a 1-1 draw between new champions Bayern Munich and outgoing title-holders Borussia Dortmund in the Ruhr.
Both goals came in the first half. Kevin Grosskreutz side-footed Dortmund ahead and Mario Gomez headed the equaliser for Bayern who had fullback Rafinha sent off for elbowing as tempers flared in the closing minutes. This was Bayern’s first failure to win in the league this year.
Bayer Leverkusen clinched their place in the Champions League with a 2-0 win at Nurnberg, helped by a second-half penalty from the Bundesliga’s 23-goal joint top scorer Stefan Kiessling.
At the other end of the table Werder Bremen conceded a two-goal lead in the last five minutes and were held 2-2 by Hoffenheim in their relegation duel.
In France Marseille closed in on a Champions League slot after Mathieu Valbuena laid on two goals for Andre-Pierre Gignac secured a 2-1 home win against over Bastia. Victory took Marseille on to
67 points with three games left, six points behind Paris Saint-Germain who play their game in hand against Valenciennes on Sunday.
Roma move up
In Italy a stoppage-time goal from Pablo Osvaldo brought Roma a 1-0 win away to Champions League-chasing Fiorentina in Serie A and which lifted them up, temporarily at least, to fifth. At the foot of Serie A Chievo Verona edged closer towards survival after a goalless draw with Cagliari.
In Romania Steaua Bucharest won the league title for the first time in seven years after pursuers Petrolul Ploiesti were held 2-2 at relegation-threatened Turnu Severin. That draw, a day after Steaua beat Pandurii Targu-Jiu 2-0, left Laurentiu Reghecampf’s side 16 points clear of Petrolul and Pandurii with five games remaining.
In Spain Valencia maintained their Champions League qualifying hopes alive by thrashing nine-man Osasuna 4-0. However Malaga’s hopes of a top-fpir finish faded after a 1-0 defeat at Granada. Malaga are already suspended from playing in Europe next season after contravening UEFA’s financial fair play rules.
Outgoing champions Real Madrid delayed Barcelona’s title celebrations for at least another week after winning 4-3 at home to Valladolid with two more goals from Cristiano Ronaldo. Madrid fans jeered coach Jose Mourinho and cheered substitute goalkeeper Iker Casillas.
** Alfredo Di Stefano, Real Madrid’s greatest player and now honorary president, has said he plans to marry a Costa Rican woman 50 years his junior. Di Stefano, now 87, said he was getting married to the 36-year-old Gina Gonzalez in the next few weeks “because I want to and I have been a widower for eight years.”