Madrid, March 20:
Ludovic Giuly scored in the 10th minute, and FC Barcelona edged Deportivo La Coruna 1-0 to move closer to its first Spanish League title since 1999. The 29th-round win came despite the 52nd-minute ejection of Rafael Marquez and stretched Barcelonaâ€™s advantage over second-place Real Madrid to 14 points. Madrid has 10 matches remaining to bridge what looks like an unassailable gap. Also, Real Betis beat Albacete 2-1 to climb into third place with 48 points, and Espanyol striker Raul Tamudo converted two penalties in a 2-2 draw with Real Sociedad.
Barcelona took the lead in the 10th after Marquezâ€™s free kick was parried by Deportivo goalkeeper Gustavo Munua. The ball rebounded to Sylvinho, whose low shot was turned home at the far post by the Giuly. Betis defender David Rivas headed the first goal in the 17th minute from Arzu Garciaâ€™s floated free kick. Marcos Assuncao doubled the hostsâ€™ lead in the 59th minute with a drive from the edge of the area. Mark Gonzalez halved Betisâ€™ advantage with a 75th-minute glancing header.
LONDON: Chelsea edged closer to its first title in 50 years with a 4-1 win over Crystal Palace, and Manchester United and Arsenal also won in the fight for second place. Frank Lampard and Joe Cole scored a goal each for Chelsea, and substitute Mateja Kezman added two more at Stamford Bridge. Aki Riihilahti briefly levelled for Palace in the first half. Robin van Persie scored for Arsenal in a 1-0 win at Blackburn, while Manchester United beat Fulham 1-0 off a Cristiano Ronaldo strike. Chelsea leads the league with 77 points, followed by United with 66 and Arsenal with 64. Newcastle drew 1-1 with Portsmouth. Also, Manchester City lost 2-1 at Tottenham in the first match under caretaker manager Stuart Pearce, West Bromwich Albion won its first away match this season 4-1 at 10-man Charlton, and Bolton beat Norwich 1-0. Chelsea needs only 14 points from its eight remaining matches to win its first title since 1955. The Blues are also in the running for the Champions League.
Italian Serie A
ROME: Alessandro Del Piero took a heel pass from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and scored a second-half goal to help Juventus beat Reggina 1-0 and move three points clear of AC Milan at the top of the Serie A standings. The Juventus captain netted the winner in the 65th minute with a left-footed shot shortly after striking the crossbar with a spectacular volley from outside the area. Juventus (20-6-3) now has 66 points, three nore than defending champion Milan. Juventus pocketed its fourth consecutive win while Del Piero improved his record to 11 goals this season. In another match on Saturday, Igor Tudor headed in the deciding goal and Siena
beat Lazio 1-0 to win its first Serie A match in a month and revive its hopes to come out of the relegation zone.