The most captivating Bundesliga title race in half a century is to be decided on the final day of the season with Borussia Dortmund in pole position to oust reigning champions Bayern Munich for the first time since Jurgen Klopp guided them to the crown in 2011/12. The Black and Yellows on Sunday took full advantage of Bayern Munich’s 1-3 upset defeat at the hands of RB Leipzig 24 hours earlier by subduing Augsburg 3-0 to take a two point lead into the last round of action.
Runners up to Thomas Tuchel’s Bavarian juggernauts in six of the last ten campaigns, Edin Terzic’s Signal Iduna Park based outfit must now beat Mainz on home turf on Saturday to render Bayern Munich’s trip to Koln irrelevant. Victory for Dortmund would be an awesome climax to a spine tingling campaign that has witnessed the Bundesliga lead change hands on eight occasions among four different contenders.
Leipzig’s victory confirmed Champions League qualification as they will end the season in third place regardless of the outcome of their final match at home to Schalke. However, the contest for the fourth slot allocated to the Bundesliga by European football governing body, Uefa, is to be decided at the death as Union Berlin’s 2-4 loss at Hoffenheim and Freiburg’s 2-0 victory over Wolfsburg left the two sides level on 59 points.
In England, Manchester City were crowned Premier League champions for the fifth time in six years without kicking a foot ball after closest pursuers Arsenal fell 0-1 to a Taiwo Awoniyi goal at Nottingham Forest. City’s subsequent 1-0 victory over bedraggled Chelsea on Sunday ensured Pep Guardiola’s side became only the second team to win three consecutive league titles after Sir Alex Ferguson’s Red Devils twice achieved the feat during his hugely successful 26-year tutelage.
The two remaining Champions League positions were more or less settled by Liverpool’s 1-1 draw with Aston Villa which meant the Kop would have to beat Southampton by at least seven goals on the final day just to have hope of catching Newcastle United and Manchester United who both have a game in hand. The Magpies host relegation bound Leicester City on Monday while United welcome Chelsea on Thursday aiming to sew up a Top Four slot with a game in hand.
Across the Euro tunnel, a first half brace from Ligue One top scorer Kylian Mbappe Lottin guided Paris Saint Germain to a 2-1 win over Auxerre. Victory ensured the Parisians will retain France’s biggest domestic silverware for another 12 months as they hold a six point lead over second placed Racing Lens with only two rounds of action to go. 1998 titlists Lens’ 3-1 win at Lorient wasn’t sufficient to help bridge a 16 goal difference swing needed to catch up with PSG.
Serie A champions Napoli meanwhile assumed the role of king makers by taming Champions League finalists Inter Milan 3-1 at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium. The Nerrazzuri’s defeat saw them drop one place in the standings to fourth as they were overtaken by Lazio who overcame Udinese 1-0. AC Milan’s 5-1 triumph over already relegated Sampdoria lifted the Rossoneri to 64 points, just two behind Inter Milan. Gian Piero Gasperini’s Atalanta are three points further adrift despite a morale boosting 3-1 win over Hellas Verona.
In Spain, the country’s two most decorated sides suffered rare defeats on the same match day when Barcelona were torpedoed 2-1 by Imanol Iguacil’s impressive Real Sociedad at the Camp Nou and Real Madrid fell 1-0 at Valencia’s Mestalla Stadium. Sociedad need one more victory to guarantee a place in next season’s cash spinning Uefa Champions League. Atletico Madrid are now second in Liga Santander standings following a 3-0 whitewash of Osasuna.