ROME: Early strikes from Gervinho and Mattia Destro helped Roma strengthen their grip on second place in Italy’s Serie A with a 2-0 win at Chievo Verona.
Ivorian attacker Gervinho slid home the opener in the 17th minute after a defensive mix-up.
Destro doubled the lead with his eighth league goal of the season three minutes before the break as Rudi Garcia’s side moved on to 64 points, six clear of third-placed Napoli who host Fiorentina on Sunday.
Roma are 11 points adrift of Juventus who are clear favourites to win at rock-bottom Catania on Sunday.
In Germany Bayern Munich had to put their Bundesliga title celebrations on hold after beating gutsy Mainz 05 2-0 while Borussia Dortmund also won, 3-0 at Hanover 96.
Bayern, who face Manchester United in the Champions League quarter-finals next month, struggled at times with Mainz’s quick counter attacks but still chalked up a league record 18th consecutive victory.
The runaway leaders broke the deadlock with a Bastian Schweinsteiger header eight minutes from time before substitute Mario Goetze added a second goal after Franck Ribery had rounded the keeper.
Bayern can break the record for the quickest title triumph at Hertha Berlin on Tuesday, their eighth last game of the season.
“That would be wonderful,” said Berlin-born defender Jerome Boateng. “To win the title in my home city would be great. We did the groundwork for that today.”
In Holland Juergen Locadia scored for the fourth game running to steer PSV Eindhoven to a 3-1 Dutch league win over bottom club Roda JC Kerkrade on Saturday and keep up his team’s slim title hopes.
PSV’s top scorer Locadia struck in the 14th minute to take his tally to 11 league goals this season and help lift the club to second in the table, six points behind leaders Ajax Amsterdam who have a game in hand.
Mitchel Paulissen equalised before halftime but Roda were sunk by second-half goals from Costa Rica international Bryan Ruiz and former Chelsea defender Jeffrey Bruma.
Vitesse Arnhem’s championship challenge received a potentially knockout blow when they lost 3-1 at Groningen.
In Spain Athletic Bilbao remain on course for a place in Champions League qualifying after a Markel Susaeta strike secured a 1-0 win at home to Getafe in La Liga on Saturday that strengthened their grip on fourth.
Susaeta cracked home a superb first-time shot five minutes before halftime at the San Mames to put Bilbao nine points clear of fifth-placed Real Sociedad ahead of their Basque rivals’ match at Almeria on Monday.
Getafe, winless in 14 La Liga outings stretching back to mid December, are just above the drop zone in 17th on 28 points.
Espanyol and Levante, who are in with a chance of a place in the Europa League, drew 0-0 at Espanyol’s Cornella El Prat stadium in Barcelona, while Granada pulled further away from danger with a 1-0 win at home to Elche.