With time running out, Arsenal continues push
ARSENAL 4, STOKE 1
Things are looking up for Arsenal as the team makes its traditional end-of-season charge for Champions League qualification from the English Premier League. The question is: Is it too late? Arsenal produced one of its best performances of the season to beat host Stoke, 4-1, on Saturday and move to within one point of the top four with two games remaining.
If fourth-place Liverpool fails to beat West Ham away Sunday, Arsenal knows that victories over Sunderland on Tuesday and Everton on the final day will earn the team a place in the Champions League for the 20th straight season.
“At the moment, we have consistency,” Manager Arsene Wenger said. “Let’s finish well.”
Olivier Giroud tapped in two close-range finishes and Alexis Sanchez netted his 50th Premier League goal for Arsenal in its fifth win in six games.
The pressure on Liverpool was ramped up even further by Manchester City beating Leicester, 2-1, to move into third place, above the Reds.
City got two big breaks on its way to victory over the deposed champions.
The team’s first goal, scored by David Silva, could have been ruled out as Raheem Sterling was standing in an offside position and directly in Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel’s line of vision when Silva took aim.
Gabriel Jesus made it 2-0 from the penalty spot before fortune struck again in the form of a missed penalty by Leicester.
Elsewhere, Swansea earned a 2-0 win over Sunderland to move four points clear of the relegation zone, Bournemouth beat Burnley, 2-1, and Southampton defeated Middlesbrough, 2-1.
GERMANY: Arjen Robben scored in the fifth minute of injury time for Bundesliga champion Bayern Munich to come back from two goals down and beat Leipzig, 5-4.
Bayern got off to a bad start at second-place Leipzig when Marcel Sabitzer opened the scoring in the second minute. The champions trailed 3-2 late when they scored three goals after the 84th minute.
ITALY: Atalanta conceded a late equalizer and drew with regional rival AC Milan, 1-1, in Serie A but still celebrated its return to Europe after 26 years.
Atalanta is fifth, six points ahead of Milan with two rounds remaining.
The fourth- to sixth-placed clubs qualify for the Europa League, a competition that Atalanta has not participated in since 1991.
PORTUGAL: Benfica routed Vitoria Guimaraes, 5-0, to win a club-record fourth straight Portuguese league title.
Benfica lifted the trophy with one round to go by opening an eight-point lead over FC Porto, which plays Sunday and can only get within two points of its rival if it wins both of its remaining matches.
It is the 36th league title for Benfica, which led the league since the fifth round.
Toronto extends win streak
Tosaint Ricketts broke a tie in the 77th minute, and host Toronto FC beat Minnesota United, 3-2, to push its club-record winning streak to six games in MLS action.
First-place Toronto overcame injuries to Sebastian Giovinco and Nick Hagglund, and Jason Hernandez’s illness.
Jozy Altidore set up the winning goal with a run down the left flank, beating several defenders before sending in the cross that found Ricketts’s head.
CREW 3, IMPACT 2: Justin Meram finished with a hat trick, including the winning goal in second-half stoppage time, to lift Columbus in Montreal.
Meram scored twice in the first half to give the Crew an early two-goal lead, but the Impact pulled even in the second half on goals by Ignacio Piatti and Anthony Jackson-Hamel.
RAPIDS 3, EARTHQUAKES 0: Shkelzen Gashi scored twice, and last-place Colorado beat San Jose in Denver to snap a seven-game winless streak.
Dominique Badji also scored for the Rapids, who had not won since March 4.
ORLANDO CITY SC 2, SPORTING KANSAS CITY 2: Latif Blessing scored twice, including the tying goal in the 74th minute, to help Sporting Kansas City earn a draw in Orlando.
Cyle Larin and Kaka had firsthalf goals for Orlando City SC.
REVOLUTION 4, REAL SALT LAKE 0: Scott Caldwell, Kei Kamara, Diego Fagundez and Lee Nguyen scored in the first half, and New England cruised to a win in Foxborough, Mass.
FIRE 4, SOUNDERS 1: Nemanja Nikolic scored twice, and host Chicago beat Seattle.