European football: Bayern celebrations on hold; La Liga leaders change thrice

Story highlights

Bayern Munich draw 1-1 with Monchengladbach

Tie leaves them 5 points ahead in Bundesliga with 2 matches to play

Real Madrid, Atletico and Barcelona all win giving La Liga tight table top

CNN  — 

Celebrations will have to wait for Bayern Munich. After three eventful years, manager Pep Guardiola is not guaranteed to leave the Bundesliga on a high just yet.

The 44-year-old Spanish manager was only 20 minutes away from guiding Bayern Munich to its fourth successive league title on Saturday, when André Hahn scored the equalizer for visiting Borussia Monchengladbach to spoil the party.

A 5-1 win for second place Borussia Dortmund against VfL Wolfsburg separates the teams by five points with just two matches to play.

Champions League plans

Guardiola rested captain Philipp Lahm along with starters Arturo Vidal and David Alaba to start the match, ahead of the second leg of Bayern’s Champions League semifinal vs. Atletico Madrid. Midfielder Franck Ribery was not even on the bench.

The Germans will be looking to overcome a 1-0 deficit at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday.

Although Guardiola is still likely to win the domestic title in all three of years at the helm of Bayern, a European trophy has eluded him. This, despite taking over a Bayern side fresh off its first Champions League win in 12 years.

Guardiola, of course, won two Champions League titles in his four years in charge at Barcelona.

Conflict of interest?

Earlier in the season, it was announced that Guardiola would be taking over managerial duties at Manchester City, who are battling Real Madrid on the other side of the Champions League semifinal draw.

A looming final between Guardiola’s current employer and his next one is still very much in the cards, and presents a potentially bizarre conflict-of-interest scenario.

Should City win the tournament, they would be guaranteed a slot in the competition when Guardiola takes over next season. Though the chances are low, Man City may finish below fourth in the Premiership, eliminating the club from qualification.

Not that Guardiola will be thinking about that on Tuesday. He will undoubtedly be gunning for his third Champions League title, a feat that only Carlo Ancelotti – who happens to be his announced successor at Bayern – has achieved.

Bayern will also play Borussia Dortmund in the German Cup final on May 21, keeping the team’s treble hopes alive.

La Liga title chase heating up

No Cristiano Ronaldo, no Karim Benzema: No problem for Real Madrid, as Gareth Bale took over. The Welshman headed in his 19th goal of the season off a Lucas Vazquez cross to steal the match in the 80th minute at Real Sociedad. Real Madrid temporarily went one point clear of hometown rivals Atletico Madrid and two points clear of Barcelona.

But then Atletico nipped Rayo Vallecano 1-0 on a goal from substitute Antoine Griezmann. And in the final match of the day, Barca topped Real Betis 2-0 as Luis Suarez notched his 35th goal of the season a half hour after Ivan Rakitic had opened the scoring in the 50th minute. Lionel Messi assisted on both scores.

That gave the La Liga a hat trick of top teams in one day. Barca, on 85 points, now leads Atletico on tiebreaks, and both are one point clear of Real Madrid with each team to play twice more.

Barcelona, however, will be resting up while both Atletico and Real Madrid face European action this week.

Read: Barcelona can still achieve “brilliant season,” says Carles Puyol

Premiership relegation taking shape

Bottom dwellers Newcastle, Norwich City and Sunderland all competed on Saturday, as the relegation zone of the Premiership took shape. Newcastle went one point clear of the bottom three with a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace – who, sitting in 16th place are not clear of relegation themselves. Sunderland meanwhile scraped a 1-1 draw with Stoke, leaving them in 18th place with 32 points. Norwich City fell 1-0 to Arsenal on the back of a Danny Welbeck second-half goal. The Canaries sit in 19th place with 31 points.

However, Norwich and Sunderland both have a game in hand over Newcastle and Crystal Palace, suggesting that the relegation struggle will carry on until the final weekend of the season. Aston Villa, who sit in last place with 16 points, have long been counted out.

Arsenal, meanwhile, take third place, only two behind Spurs who play Chelsea on Monday. Fourth place Manchester City take on Southampton on Sunday, while Leicester City look to finish their dream season with a title-clinching win at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Read: Leicester City – Could a Premier League triumph be sport’s greatest ever?

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02:55 - Source: CNN

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