Valencia stay in title race

 

VALENCIA kept the Spanish title race alive with one game left to play when they beat Espanyol 1-0 in a thrilling match yesterday. Leaders Atletico Madrid need only draw their last match, at home to Albacete, to take the title after earning a point at Tenerife on Saturday.

In Barcelona, a group of fans angered by the dismissal of coach Johan Cruyff tried to attack club vice-president Joan Gaspart before the game with CelIa Vigo. Cruyff's son Jordi was given a standing ovation as dozens of banners criticising the management were waved around the stadium. Barcelona, who are out of the title race, came from 2-0 down to win 3-2.

In France, Paris Saint Germain, fired by four goals from Youri Djorkaeff, ended their season in style with a 5-1 drubbing of Bastia on Saturday. Djorkaeff the French international striker who is being linked with a transfer abroad, converted a penalty five minutes before the break before hitting three goals in an 11-minute period in the second half.

The result allowed Paris Saint Germain to stay in second place behind Auxerre, with Monaco in third after a 3-2 away win at Rennes. Brazilian Sonny Anderson scored twice for Monaco, giving him 21 goals for the season.

In Portugal and Italy, Saturday's cup finals were marred by tragedy and violence. In Lisbon, a fan died after being hit by a flare. A police spokesman said the Lisbon supporter suffered serious abdominal injuries and was dead on arrival at hospital.

Sporting Lisbon were beaten 3-1 by Benfica.

Forentina's Italian Cup final victory over Atalanta on Saturday was marred by rioting fans who clashed with police before the match. Several groups of supporters tried to get onto the pitch before the game, flinging glass bottles, seats and other missiles at police, who responded by firing tear gas.

Around 30 people, including 12 police officers, suffered minor injuries, but the match, won 2-0 by Fiorentina, went ahead without further violence. Fiorentina won the cup 3-0 on aggregate.

In Turkey, Istanbul's Fenerbahce lifted the league title after a season marred by suicides and killings among supporters. Fenerbahce won 3-0 away to lowly Vanspor to clinch their first championship since the 1988-1989 season, finishing two points clear of Trabzonspor.

In a turbulent season, two Trabzonspor supporters hanged themselves three weeks ago after their team lost to Fenerbahce and slipped into second place. Suspected supporters of a rival club knifed a Fenerbahce fan last week as he celebrated his team's almost certain title triumph.