Veteran Gerrard loses his last home game for Liverpool

Manchester United’s return to the Champions League was sealed by a defeat for Liverpool in Steven Gerrard’s final game at Anfield, while the fight to avoid relegation from the English Premier League was reduced to three teams with one round remaining.

Liverpool lost 3-1 to Crystal Palace on an emotionally charged evening for Gerrard, to end its slim hopes of finishing in the top four. Instead, United will be the league’s fourth representative in Europe’s top competition next season alongside Chelsea, Manchester City, and Arsenal. Aston Villa and Leicester secured their top-flight status for another season, leaving Hull, Newcastle and Sunderland in a three-way scrap to stay up. Hull is favorite to join Queens Park Rangers and Burnley in going down after losing 2-0 at Tottenham to stay third from bottom. Newcastle remained two points above Hull after a 2-1 loss at QPR, and Sunderland is a point further ahead following its 0-0 draw with Leicester. Hull needs to win its last match, at home to Man United, to stand a chance of staying up. Also, Sadio Mane scored the fastest hat trick in Premier League history, netting three times in 2 minutes, 56 seconds for Southampton in a 6-1 win over Villa. Everton beat West Ham 2-1, and Stoke drew 0-0 with Burnley. Gerrard played 90 minutes in his 354th and final appearance at Anfield, but couldn’t conjure up one last moment of brilliance at a stadium he has illuminated so many times down the years.

PSG clinches third title in row

Paris St. Germain clinched a third successive Ligue 1 title, with a game to spare, and stayed on course for an unprecedented domestic treble with a 2-1 win at Montpellier. The Qatari-owned club needed only a point but ended the night eight points clear of their closest rivals Olympique Lyonnais who were held to a 1-1 home draw by Girondins Bordeaux. The title kept Laurent Blanc’s side on course for a sweep of domestic honors, with the Parisians already winners of the League Cup and facing second tier AJ Auxerre in the French Cup final at the end of the month. Monaco stayed third on 68 points, four adrift of Lyon, after beating Metz 2-0 in the principality while Olympique Marseille and St Etienne also won to stay tied on 66 in the battle for a place in next season’s Champions League preliminary round. Evian Thonon Gaillard joined Racing Lens and Metz in being relegated after losing 2-1 to St Etienne.

Juve wins Derby d’Italia

Champions League finalist and Italian champion Juventus came from behind to win 2-1 at Inter Milan in Serie A, while its cup final opponent Lazio moved provisionally above city rival Roma into second spot. Lazio won 1-0 at Sampdoria. Alvaro Morata, whose goal at Real Madrid midweek sent Juventus through to the European final, netted a late winner in the Derby d’Italia after a howler from Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic. Claudio Marchisio’s spot kick at the end of the first half canceled out Mauro Icardi’s early goal, moments after Inter hit the crossbar and Marcelo Brozovic’s follow-up was ruled out for offside. Inter defender Nemanja Vidic was fortunate not to get sent off for fouling Alessandro Matri to concede the penalty. Inter remained eighth, two points and two places behind Sampdoria in the race for a Europa League spot. Meanwhile, Frosinone joined Carpi in being promoted to the top flight for the first time in its history after beating Crotone 3-1 to ensure it finished second in Serie B.

Freiburg beats Bayern to stay alive

Nils Petersen scored late for Freiburg to beat Bayern Munich 2-1 and escape the relegation zone while Stuttgart climbed off the bottom by beating Hamburger SV 2-1 in the Bundesliga’s penultimate round.Petersen scored in the 89th minute, three minutes after coming on as a substitute, for Freiburg to climb to 34 points, level with Hannover, which won 2-1 at Augsburg, and one point above Stuttgart in the relegation playoff spot. Paderborn defender Uwe Huenemeier’s 88th-minute own goal was enough for Schalke to secure Europa League football with a 1-0 win and leave his side bottom, one point behind Hamburg, which slipped a point behind Stuttgart with one round remaining. Borussia Moenchengladbach qualified directly for the Champions League with a 2-0 win at Werder Bremen, thanks to two second half goals from Raffael. Borussia Dortmund lost 2-1 at Wolfsburg in a rehearsal for the German Cup final, Bayer Leverkusen defeated Hoffenheim 2-0, Mainz beat Cologne 2-0 and Hertha Berlin is all but safe after drawing 0-0 with Eintracht Frankfurt.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman