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England’s Champions League race goes down to the wire

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A new “Champions 20/21” banner hangs outside the stadium after Manchester City win the Premier League title in Manchester, north west England, on May 11, 2021, after their closest challengers for the title Manchester United, lost to Leicester City this evening. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)

Madrid Police Deployed To Prevent Atletico, Real Celebrations

The battle for the final two Champions League qualification spots goes down to the wire tomorrow with Chelsea, Liverpool and Leicester City all vying for a place in Europe’s elite competition.

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Chelsea is third on 67 points and will book their place with a victory at Aston Villa tomorrow before they take on Manchester City in the Champions League final.

Liverpool and Leicester City are both a point adrift of Chelsea, with the 2019 Champions League winners having the edge.

An unbeaten run of nine games, including wins in their last four outings, has propelled Juergen Klopp’s side above Leicester on goal difference.

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The plus-four goal difference advantage means that if Liverpool wins against Crystal Palace tomorrow, Leicester would need to beat Tottenham Hotspur by an unlikely margin to make it into the Champions League for only the second time in their history.

Realistically, the Foxes, who beat Chelsea in the FA Cup final last Saturday, need to win and hope one of their rivals slip up.

Meanwhile, Madrid’s city hall is deploying 130 police officers to prevent either Atletico Madrid or Real Madrid supporters from celebrating en-masse in the Spanish capital’s centre in the event their team wins the La Liga title today.

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A city hall statement said the 130 officers will patrol the two city centre fountains where the two teams typically celebrate trophy wins in order to prevent large gatherings which could lead to the spread of COVID-19.

Atletico, who hold a two-point lead over Real heading into their final game away to Real Valladolid, traditionally celebrate trophy wins at the Neptuno fountain, located 600 metres from the Cibeles fountain, where Real toast titles, although neither side will head there if they capture the title.

City hall spokeswoman Inmaculada Sanz urged supporters to celebrate in their houses or on their balconies and avoid flocking to the centre of Madrid.

Spain ended a national state of emergency earlier this month due to falling coronavirus cases although fans are still barred from attending games in the top two divisions in most regions of Spain.

“The epidemiological situation has improved but the virus is still out there and it’s important to make one last effort and stay prudent,” Sanz said.

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