European roundup: Atlético survive late Elche scare, Real keep up chase

Real Madrid’s Brazilian duo Eder Militão and Casemiro struck in the second half to secure a 2-0 home win over stubborn Osasuna on Saturday and keep the heat on the La Liga leaders, Atlético Madrid.

Militao finally prised open the visitors by heading home from a corner in the 76th minute for his first league goal of the season. Casemiro made sure of the points four minutes later with a fortuitous strike when he attempted to control a through ball from Karim Benzema and sent it trickling into the bottom corner of the net, flummoxing Sergio Herrera in Osasuna’s goal.

Atlético Madrid stayed in charge of La Liga’s four-way title race by grinding out a 1-0 win at struggling Elche on Saturday but rode their luck to the extreme when the hosts missed a penalty in stoppage time.

Marcos Llorente scored the only goal of the game with a deflected shot in the 23rd minute but gave away the penalty in the 90th for a handball as Atlético defended their slim lead. The Elche midfielder Fidel Chaves took the penalty and his shot went past Jan Oblak but came off a post, throwing Diego Simeone’s side a lifeline in the title race and leaving the hosts occupying the final place in the relegation zone in 18th.

The win took Atlético to 76 points with four games left, two clear of second-placed Real Madrid, and five of third-placed Barcelona, who visit Valencia on Sunday. Sevilla, on 70 points, host Athletic Bilbao on Monday.

In Serie A, Internazionale’s Christian Eriksen scored midway through the second half to set the runaway leaders on the way to a 2-0 win at Crotone that moved them within a point of clinching the title and confirmed their hosts’ relegation.

Inter are on 82 points, and need only one more point to guarantee a first league title since 2010 because of their superior head-to-head record over Atalanta . Inter will be crowned champions on Sunday if Atalanta fail to win at Sassuolo.

Eriksen’s deflected effort four minutes after coming off the bench found the bottom corner in the 69th minute to make the breakthrough and Achraf Hakimi finished a counterattack to double Inter’s lead in stoppage time.

Milan climbed to second place overnight with a 2-0 win over relegation-battling Benevento at San Siro thanks to goals from Hakan Calhanoglu and Theo Hernández. Milan’s top-four rivals Atalanta, Napoli and Juventus play on Sunday.

In Ligue 1, Lille stayed firmly on track for a first title since 2011 when goals by Burak Yilmaz and Mehmet Zeki Celik sent them back to the top of the table with a 2-0 home win against 10-man Nice. The Turkey internationals Yilmaz and Celik put Christophe Galtier’s team on 76 points with three games left.

Lille lead Paris Saint-Germain by one point and third-placed Monaco, who host fourth-placed Lyon on Sunday, by five. Nice, who had Jordan Lotomba sent off three minutes into the second half, are ninth on 46 points.

PSG briefly went top after Neymar scored and set up another goal in a 2-1 home win against Lens. Neymar netted in the first half and crossed for Marquinhos to score after the break to put PSG, who travel to Manchester City looking to overturn a 2-1 deficit in their Champions League semi-final tie on Tuesday, on 75 points with three games left.

With Kylian Mbappé rested and Marco Verratti on the bench, Neymar took charge and put PSG ahead after 33 minutes when he fired home from inside the box after being set up by Julian Draxler, who had dispossessed the snoozing Facundo Medina.

Just before the hour, PSG doubled the advantage as Marquinhos rose above Medina to head Neymar’s whipped cross home with the hosts seemingly heading towards a routine victory. Lens, however, made sure the reigning champions stayed on their toes as Ignatius Ganago found the back of the net with a half-volley from Jonathan Clauss’s cross.