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Talking Points from Around Europe

As Bayern Munich wrapped up yet another Bundesliga title, it was a bad weekend for some of Europe’s other super clubs. Real Madrid, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain all saw their title hopes take a hit, and Juventus may not even be in next season’s Champions League. AFP Sport rounds up some of the main talking points from across the continent:

VAR Costs Madrid

Real Madrid would have been in pole position to retain the Spanish title with a win over Sevilla but instead had to settle for a 2-2 draw after the latest VAR controversy.

With the scores level at 1-1, Real thought they had won a penalty for a foul on Karim Benzema only for the referee to give a spot-kick at the other end for an Eder Militao handball moments earlier, as confirmed after reviewing the images.

Ivan Rakitic scored, and although Eden Hazard equalised in stoppage time, Real are two points behind leaders Atletico Madrid with three games left.

“The move that changed the league,” was the headline in Madrid-based sports daily Marca on Monday. “We are a bit uneasy about all this,” Real’s director of institutional relations, former player Emilio Butragueno, said of the VAR decision.

Atletico had drawn 0-0 at Barcelona, keeping the Catalans also two points behind them and keeping them on course for a first title since 2014.

Juventus to Miss Out on Champions League?

The club who were desperate to set up a breakaway Super League to guarantee their place among European football’s elite, Juventus have already seen their grip on Serie A come to an end and now they may not even qualify for next season’s Champions League.

A week after Inter clinched the Italian title, ending Juve’s run of nine consecutive championships, the Turin club were humbled 3-0 at home by AC Milan. That result, combined with victories for Atalanta and Napoli, saw Juventus slip to fifth, a point outside the Champions League berths with three games left.

Goals from Brahim Diaz, Ante Rebic and Fikayo Tomori secured a big win for Milan, who also missed a penalty.

“Little by little we fell apart. It’s hard to explain,” said Juve coach Andrea Pirlo, whose side nevertheless remain just three points off second and will hope to rescue a top-four berth with games to come against Sassuolo, Inter and Bologna.

Bayern Wrap up Nine in a Row

Bayern secured their ninth consecutive Bundesliga title as closest rivals RB Leipzig — whose coach Julian Nagelsmann will take over in Munich next season — lost 3-2 at Borussia Dortmund.

Bayern celebrated by trouncing Borussia Moenchengladbach 6-0 with Robert Lewandowski scoring a hat-trick to move onto 39 Bundesliga goals for the season. With two games left, the Pole is just one goal away from Gerd Mueller’s 49-year-old record of 40 in a Bundesliga season.

Meanwhile Dortmund’s win, achieved without Erling Braut Haaland, saw them leapfrog Eintracht Frankfurt into the top four, putting Champions League qualification back in their hands.

PSG See Title Slip Away

PSG’s hopes of an eighth Ligue 1 title in nine seasons faded as they were held 1-1 at Rennes despite Neymar marking signing a contract extension to 2025 by scoring a penalty.

The result left PSG three points behind leaders Lille with two games left. Lille now know that four points from their final two matches will secure them a first Ligue 1 title since 2011, and it would be against all the odds given the huge financial advantage enjoyed by the Qatar-backed Parisians in the French top flight.

Tension in Turkey

After Istanbul Basaksehir’s surprise success last season, the Turkish title will return to one of the city’s big three this year, but which one?

With two games left, Besiktas remain in pole position for a 16th title but a 3-1 defeat at Galatasaray, for whom Ryan Babel, Radamel Falcao and Arda Turan all scored, kept the race alive.

Galatasaray, the record 22-time champions, are three points behind Besiktas in third. Fenerbahce, from the Asian side of the Bosphorus, are just two points behind the leaders in second after winning 2-1 at Ankaragucu.

Mesut Ozil could still win the league in his first season at Fenerbahce.

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