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Liverpool tops Premier League after beating Spurs
Liverpool climbs top of Premier League by thrashing Tottenham 4-0, Everton beats Fulham
By The Associated Press
Associated Press
2014-03-31 03:22 AM

After a 24-year wait, the English league title could be on its way back to Liverpool.

A 4-0 win over Tottenham on Sunday saw Liverpool overtake Chelsea and become the new Premier League leader in a close fight for the title.

The fight for Champions League qualification intensified across the other leagues to Europe, too.

Here is a look at the action across the continent's top leagues:

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ENGLAND

Liverpool fuelled the growing belief that the English championship could be returning to Anfield by thrashing Tottenham 4-0, lifting the team to the top of the Premier League.

On a successful day for the Merseyside clubs, Everton won 3-1 at last-place Fulham to close to within four points of fourth-place Arsenal ahead of their meeting at Goodison Park next weekend.

Liverpool -- the league's top scorers -- produced another masterful attacking display against a porous Spurs defense, with Younes Kaboul's second-minute own-goal added to by strikes from Luis Suarez, Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson to seal an eighth straight win for the Reds.

They made the most of Chelsea's 1-0 loss at Crystal Palace on Saturday and are two points clear of Jose Mourinho's side with six games left. Manchester City, which drew 1-1 at fourth-place Arsenal, is two points further back in third and crucially has two games in hand.

Chelsea and City both play at Anfield next month.

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SPAIN

Real Sociedad was held to a 1-1 draw at Osasuna, missing the chance to climb closer to the top four in the Spanish league.

Osasuna ended a five-game losing streak but fell into the relegation zone after Valladolid beat 10-man Almeria 1-0 at home.

Sociedad started well at Reyno de Navarra Stadium, with forward Gonzalo Castro opening in the seventh minute from Carlos Vela's unselfish pass following a defensive lapse from Osasuna. But Osasuna settled down and striker Oriol Riera headed in Roberto Torres' cross in the 59th.

The result left Real Sociedad in sixth place, level on points with fifth-place Sevilla, and six points out of fourth and Spain's final Champions League berth held by Athletic Bilbao.

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ITALY

Mattia Destro scored an early goal and Roma was fortunate when a penalty appeal for relegation-threatened Sassuolo was waved off in a 2-0 win Sunday in Serie A.

Roma's fourth consecutive victory strengthened the Giallorossi's hold on second place ahead of Italian league leader Juventus' match at Napoli later. With a game in hand, Roma moved within 11 points of Juventus and nine points ahead of Napoli in the race for second and the last direct Champions League entry.

Roma faces Parma on Wednesday in the resumption of a match from February that was stopped after eight minutes due to a waterlogged pitch.

Elsewhere, fourth-place Fiorentina was held to a 0-0 draw at Sampdoria, Parma remained one point behind Inter Milan in the race for fifth and the final Europa League berth after a 3-2 loss at Lazio, and Luca Toni scored twice after Marco Donadel's opener in Hellas Verona's 3-0 win over Genoa.

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GERMANY

Borussia Moenchengladbach came from a goal down to beat Hamburger SV 3-1 and leave the visiting side second from bottom in the Bundesliga.

Hamburg is the only club to have played in each of the Bundesliga's 51 seasons and the players are under immense pressure to prevent its first relegation.

Moenchengladbach reclaimed sixth place while Hamburg is just two points above bottom side Eintracht Braunschweig, and behind 16th-placed Stuttgart on goal difference.

Sebastian Proedl's last-minute header earned Werder Bremen a 2-1 win at Hannover later Sunday, lifting his side eight points above the relegation zone.

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FRANCE

Lille edged Guingamp 1-0 to pull within six points of second-place Monaco in the French league despite a mediocre performance, while Rennes thrashed mid-table Bastia 3-0 to move closer to securing safety.

In the second minute of stoppage time, Lille center back Marko Basa redirected a corner toward Salomon Kalou, who flicked home the winner for his 11th league goal this season.

In Rennes, the hosts took the lead in the 14th minute with a powerful strike from winger Romain Alessandrini that goalkeeper Mickael Landreau fumbled into his own net. Sweden forward Ola Toivonen fired a half-volley into the top corner to double the lead in the 28th and set up midfielder Jean Makoun for the third goal in the 59th.

Lyon hosts Saint-Etienne late on Sunday in a match between two contenders for a European spot.

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