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FIFA urged to back Garcia probe into Qatar WCup

FIFA advisers urge support for Garcia probe to resolve allegations about Qatar World Cup bid
Graham Dunbar, The Associated Press

GENEVA - FIFA's reputation depends on resolving allegations about Qatar's selection as the 2022 World Cup host, according to the governing body's anti-corruption advisers.

The expert panel chaired by Swiss law professor Mark Pieth gave its full support on Wednesday to a FIFA investigation of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup votes, led by ethics prosecutor Michael Garcia.

Defensive Chelsea holds Atletico in scoreless draw

Defensive Chelsea holds Atletico to 0-0 draw in 1st leg of Champions League semifinal
Paul Logothetis, The Associated Press

MADRID - Chelsea's defensive game plan worked perfectly as it held Atletico Madrid to a 0-0 draw in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal on Tuesday.

Jose Mourinho's ultra-defensive tactics succeeded at the Vicente Calderon Stadium despite the exit of goalkeeper Petr Cech to injury in the 18th minute. Mark Schwarzer came on, with Cech's long-term replacement — Thibaut Courtois — playing in the opposite goal, on loan from Chelsea.

David Moyes out as Manchester United manager

David Moyes fired as Man United manager; Ryan Giggs named interim replacement
Steve Douglas, The Associated Press

MANCHESTER, England - It's some feat to turn one of the world's most storied and valuable sports brands into a mere also-ran in the space of 10 months.

That's what David Moyes managed to achieve at Manchester United — and there was only going to be one outcome.

Valcke to visit unfinished World Cup stadiums

FIFA's Valcke to visit unfinished World Cup stadiums, including one hosting opening game
Tales Azzoni, The Associated Press

SAO PAULO - FIFA's top World Cup official is visiting Brazil this week to inspect the three stadiums yet to be completed for the World Cup, including the one hosting the tournament's opening game in June.

Secretary General Jerome Valcke will inspect construction work at the Itaquerao in Sao Paulo on Tuesday to begin his latest tour of host cities. He will later visit the two other stadiums still under construction ahead of football's showcase event — one in the southern city of Curitiba and another in the western city of Cuiaba.

Guardiola, Mourinho back in Madrid for CL semis

Guardiola and Mourinho back in Madrid for Champions League semifinals
Joseph Wilson, The Associated Press

Madrid will be the centre of the football world this week when Real Madrid hosts Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid welcomes Chelsea in the Champions League semifinals.

The oversized personalities of Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho dominated Spanish football for half a decade until first Guardiola, then Mourinho, moved abroad.

Liverpool closes in on Premier League title

Liverpool takes another big stride to Premier League title with 3-2 win at Norwich
The Associated Press

LONDON - Liverpool assured its return to the Champions League on Sunday, but a much bigger prize is just around the corner.

What was looking like a gripping finale to the Premier League title race is starting to turn into a procession for the Reds after they beat Norwich 3-2 to move five points ahead of Chelsea with three matches remaining.

A look at play across Europe's top leagues as the end of the season approaches:

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ENGLAND

Rampant Liverpool closes on Premier League title

Liverpool wins 11th straight match to move closer to capturing Premier League title
Steve Douglas, The Associated Press

LIVERPOOL, England - What was looking like a gripping finale to the Premier League title race is starting to turn into a procession for Liverpool.

The rampant leaders moved five points clear of Chelsea with three matches remaining thanks to a 3-2 victory over Norwich on Sunday, taking their winning run to 11 games.

Perez scores in 88th, Dallas tops Toronto 2-1

Perez scores winner in 88th minute to lift FC Dallas to 2-1 win over Toronto FC
Andy Friedlander, The Canadian Press

FRISCO, Texas - Toronto FC ended a difficult early-season stretch with the kind of game they didn't want.

The Reds were dominated in possession and conceded an astounding 16 corner kicks to Western Conference leader FC Dallas, but still managed to hang in until a devastating goal in the final minutes handed them a frustrating 2-1 loss Saturday night at Toyota Stadium.

Sunderland hits Chelsea's title hopes with 2-1 win

Chelsea takes major blow in bid for Premier League title with 2-1 loss against Sunderland
Samuel Petrequin, The Associated Press

LONDON - In another twist to this unpredictable English Premier League season, bottom side Sunderland damaged Chelsea's title hopes with a shock 2-1 victory at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

After surprise defeats to Aston Villa and Crystal Palace in recent weeks, Chelsea again stuttered against weaker opposition, as Jose Mourinho's 77-match unbeaten home run as Chelsea boss came to an end in a major boost for league leader Liverpool.

Cardiff backs player over lineup leak allegations

Cardiff backs midfielder Aron Gunnarsson, denying he's linked to lineup leak allegations
The Associated Press

CARDIFF, Wales - Cardiff midfielder Aron Gunnarsson has been backed by the south Wales club after being linked to an alleged leak of team information to a rival.

Cardiff has lodged a complaint with the English Premier League, claiming Crystal Palace obtained its lineup before their match this month. Relegation-threatened Cardiff wants the 3-0 loss overturned.

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