Man United set for Champions League after Liverpool draws
A look into the action in the top European leagues
Manchester United is set to return to the Champions League next season after Premier League champion Chelsea held Liverpool to a draw, effectively ending the Reds’ hopes of making it to Europe’s top competition.
In Italy, Lazio missed the chance to move back into second place while Marseille came from behind to beat Monaco and kept alive its bid of a top three finish in the French league.
Here is a look at the action in Europe’s top leagues:
Liverpool’s hopes of finishing in the Premier League’s top four are over after a 1-1 draw at Chelsea left the team six points behind Man United with two games remaining, as Louis van Gaal’s fourth-place team has a far superior goal difference.
Queens Park Rangers, meanwhile, is heading into the League Championship. A day after Burnley was relegated, QPR also made an instant return to the second tier after losing 6-0 at Manchester City.
At Stamford Bridge, Chelsea captain John Terry gave his team the lead when headed Cesc Fabregas’ corner into the net. Steven Gerrard scored his first goal against Chelsea in a decade when he was left unmarked at the end of the first half to meet Jordan Henderson’s free kick with a header. Gerrard made his last appearance at Stamford Bridge, as he will join the Los Angeles Galaxy after this season, and was given a standing ovation by both teams’ fans when he was substituted near the end.
Lazio missed the chance to move back into second place in Serie A as it lost 2-1 at home to Inter Milan after playing most of the second half with nine men.
Hernanes scored both Inter goals against his former club, netting the winner six minutes from time.
Antonio Candreva had given Lazio the lead but Mauricio was sent off in the 24th minute and goalkeeper Federico Marchetti was also dismissed shortly after the hour. Substitute Etrit Berisha’s first act was to save Mauro Icardi’s penalty.
Lazio remained a point behind Roma.
Earlier, Napoli cut the gap to Lazio to three points with a 2-2 draw at already-relegated Parma. Fiorentina kept up its pursuit of a European spot by beating Empoli 3-2 to move back above Sampdoria, which defeated Udinese 4-1 earlier.
Late goals from Andre Ayew and Romain Alessandrini guided Marseille to a 2-1 win over Monaco in the French league and maintained its chances of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.
Marseille pushed for an equalizer for 78 minutes after Portuguese midfielder Joao Moutinho gave Monaco the lead inside the first minute and was finally rewarded when Ayew headed home from Alessandrini’s cross from the right.
Alessandrini snatched the winner three minutes from time on a quick counterattack after being set up by Dimitri Payet.
Fernando Torres scored with 10 minutes left to give Atletico Madrid a 2-2 draw at Levante, while Villarreal sealed a Europa League berth for next season.
Atletico’s draw kept the soon-to-be-dethroned champions in third place, four points above Valencia with two rounds remaining.
David Barral opened the scoring for Levante in the 32nd, only for Siqueira to level three minutes later. Kalu Uche put the hosts back ahead in the 63rd.
Atletico struggled in attack, but Torres substituted striker Mario Mandzukic with 30 minutes to play and headed in Jorge "Koke" Resurreccion’s corner for the equalizer.
Villarreal forward Joel Campbell nodded in what proved to be the 26th-minute winner to down Elche 1-0 at home, ending an 11-game winless streak and locking up a sixth-place finish for "the Yellow Submarine."
Elsewhere, Sevilla stumbled to a 1-1 draw at Celta Vigo as it tries to catch Valencia and earn a Champions League berth.
Bas Dost scored twice as Wolfsburg ensured direct qualification for next season’s Champions League with a 3-1 win at relegation-threatened Paderborn.
The Dutch striker took his league tally to 16 goals as Wolfsburg reclaimed second place and moved seven points clear of fourth-place Bayer Leverkusen with two rounds remaining.
Paderborn started well but Timm Klose scored against the run of play with a header from a corner in the 15th minute.
Dost converted at the back post 10 minutes later after Ivan Perisic floated a cross over Paderborn keeper Lukas Kruse and he sealed the win on a rebound in the 82nd after Kruse saved Maximilian Arnold’s initial shot.
Lukas Rupp scored Paderborn’s consolation with the last kick of the game, but his side stayed second from bottom, one point above Stuttgart, and level on 31 points with Hannover and Freiburg.
Cologne defeated Schalke 2-0 in the late game to ensure Bundesliga survival and place the visiting side’s Europa League qualification in danger.