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Originally published Sunday, April 1, 2012 at 1:28 PM

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Spurs boost Champs League hopes by beating Swansea

Tottenham beat Swansea 3-1 Sunday to close within goal difference of Arsenal for third place in the English Premier League.

The Associated Press

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LONDON —

Tottenham beat Swansea 3-1 Sunday to close within goal difference of Arsenal for third place in the English Premier League.

Tottenham's win also helped it keep Chelsea and Newcastle at arm's length in the race to finish in the Champions League spots.

Togo striker Emmanuel Adebayor scored on two headers in the final 17 minutes at White Hart Lane and Spurs kept a five-point gap on their rivals below them with seven rounds left.

"We hit a little blip but we feel like we're back now and hopefully heading onto a good run-in towards the end of season," Tottenham winger Gareth Bale said.

Newcastle's surprise push for European soccer next season gathered momentum with a 2-0 win over struggling Liverpool, keeping Alan Pardew's side on the same number of points as Chelsea and condemning the visitors to a sixth loss in seven league games.

Senegal striker Papiss Demba Cisse grabbed a double for the second straight match for Newcastle, with Liverpool finishing with 10 men following the late sending-off of goalkeeper Jose Reina for a headbutt.

The Spain international faces a three-match ban that will culminate with his team's FA Cup semifinal against Merseyside rival Everton, which is now above Liverpool in the league table by a point.

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) - Valencia squandered another lead and tied 1-1 with Levante on Sunday, endangering its hold on third place in the Spanish league.

For the sixth time in its last eight games, Valencia failed to secure a win after scoring first and dropped valuable points at home.

Also, Radamel Falcao scored his 20th Spanish league goal of the season as Atletico Madrid cruised past Getafe 3-0.

Levante was the more dangerous side early on at Mestalla stadium, but crosstown rival Valencia went ahead 10 minutes before halftime with a move started by Aritz Aduriz, playing instead of the suspended Roberto Soldado.

The Basque striker threaded a superb short pass through a trio of defenders and Sofiane Feghouli laid the ball off for Jonas to tap into the empty net.

Arouna Kone equalized for Levante through a counterattack in the 54th.

After recovering the ball in midfield, Jose Barkero lofted a long ball into the area that Valdo Lopez headed down for Kone to fire in and take his league goal tally to 11 this season.

The draw left Valencia one point ahead of fourth-place Malaga and three points in front of fifth-place Levante with eight matches to play. Spain's top four finishers qualify for the Champions League.

Atletico got going in the 24th as Eduardo Salvio continued his impressive play with the Argentine forward heading Filipe Luis' cross high over goalkeeper Miguel Angel Moya to land under the far corner.

Brazilian playmaker Diego headed Falcao's cross off the crossbar and volleyed home the rebound to make it 2-0 in the 62nd. Falcao guided home Juanfran Torres' cross in the 77th minute to cap an easy victory at the Vicente Calderon stadium.

Atletico climbed within five points of fourth-place Malaga and the last Champions League qualifying spot. Getafe is three points behind its Spanish capital neighbor.

Real Sociedad hosts Rayo Vallecano while Espanyol visits Villarreal later Sunday.

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ROME (AP) - New Inter Milan manager Andrea Stramaccioni had a successful debut as Diego Milito scored a hat trick and the Nerazzurri held on for a wild 5-4 win over Genoa on Sunday in a match that both sides finished with 10 men.

The 36-year-old Stramaccioni was hired Monday after Claudio Ranieri was fired following a miserable streak of one win in Inter's previous 10 league matches. A week ago, Stramaccioni led Inter's youth squad to a win over Ajax in the inaugural NextGen Series final - a sort of Champions League for under-19 players.

"The important thing is that Inter won. Yes, it was a wild victory," Stramaccioni said. "I want to thank the entire group for giving their all to find success again. The merit is theirs. All I added was that little that I know to try and achieve this result."

This victory moved Inter past Catania into seventh place, 20 points behind Serie A leader and crosstown rival AC Milan, which drew 1-1 at Catania on Saturday.

Milan holds a two-point lead over Juventus, which beat Napoli 3-0 in a preview of the Italian Cup final.

Stramaccioni is Inter's fifth manager since Jose Mourinho departed after leading the club to a treble in 2010, with Rafa Benitez, Leonardo, Gian Piero Gasperini and Ranieri each failing to fully satisfy president Massimo Moratti.

"Now we've got to go match by match without making any plans," Stramaccioni said. "I'm just glad the president gave me this chance, which I didn't deserve. Having his support gives us the serenity to do our jobs."

Earlier, Roma routed relegation-bound Novara 5-2 to keep alive its chances of finishing third and taking the Champions League berth.

Roma is sixth, four points behind third-place and city rival Lazio, which lost 3-1 at Parma on Saturday.

Elsewhere Sunday, it was: Bologna 1, Palermo 3; Cagliari 2, Atalanta 0; Fiorentina 1, Chievo Verona 2; Lecce 0, Cesena 0; and Siena 1, Udinese 0.

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BERLIN (AP) - Hannover extended its unbeaten home record and climbed to fifth in the Bundesliga with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Borussia Moenchengladbach on Sunday, when Schalke was held 1-1 at Hoffenheim.

"The Gladbachers didn't apply the pressure I expected. The second half went very well for us," Hannover coach Mirko Slomka said after his club's 250th Bundesliga win.

Didier Ya Konan slid in to give the home side the lead in the 57th minute by deflecting Konstantin Rausch's cross through Marc-Andre ter Stegen's legs.

Hannover, which remains the Bundesliga's only team unbeaten at home this season, made it 2-0 in the 77th when Sergio Pinto sent Jan Schlaudraff free and the former Moenchengladbach player waited before picking out Mame Biram Diouf with a precise cross.

Havard Nordtveit pulled one back a minute later when he toe-poked the ball past Ron-Robert Zieler after beating three Hannover defenders.

Zieler ensured his side claimed all three points with two saves in injury time from Marco Reus and then Filip Daems.

Both Hoffenheim and Schalke had debatable penalty decisions go their way in the late game.

Sven Schipplock earned Hoffenheim's spot kick in the 29th after Lars Unnerstall stretched out his leg. The Schalke goalkeeper was given a yellow card and had to pick the ball out of his net a minute later when Sejad Salihovic scored the penalty.

Winter transfer Chinedu Obasi got Schalke's penalty against his former side in the 80th when he fell under light contact from Andreas Beck just inside the area.

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar sent Tom Starke the wrong way as the Dutch striker joined Bayern Munich's Mario Gomez as the top scorer with 23 goals this season.

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PARIS (AP) - Defending champion Lille beat Toulouse 2-1 to get back into the French league title race by pulling within four points of leader Montpellier and Paris Saint-Germain.

Belgian midfielder Eden Hazard converted a penalty kick in the 12th minute after Toulouse defender Daniel Congre fouled him.

Hazard has scored five goals in his last five matches - and 14 goals this season.

Lille forward Dimitri Payet doubled the lead by taking a pass from Hazard to score from close range in the 31st.

Toulouse defender Serge Aurier pulled one back by diverting home a shot from Adrien Regattin in the 60th.

Lille remained in third place with matches against PSG later this month and Montpellier in May.

Toulouse lost midfielder Francois Sirieix, who was sent off in the 82nd for a foul on Lille striker Nolan Roux.

Meanwhile, Caen dropped into the relegation zone after splitting the points with Ajaccio in a goalless draw.

Lyon played Rennes later Sunday.

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ALKMAAR, Netherlands (AP) - Ajax took lead in the Dutch league after demolishing Heracles Almelo 6-0 on Sunday, while American striker Jozy Altidore scored his 11th league goal of the campaign and 15th overall for AZ Alkmaar in its 2-2 draw at Vitesse Arnhem.

Ajax has one more point than previous leader AZ Alkmaar. FC Twente is third, three points off the pace.

Twente, which next travels to AZ, beat Roda JC 2-0 on Saturday and PSV Eindhoven downed VVV Venlo by the same score. Both teams are also challenging for the title.

Also Sunday, Krisztian Nemeth scored to lead RKC Waalwijk to a 1-0 win over ADO The Hague.

Lasse Schone and Genero Zeefuik scored in each half to guide NEC Nijmegen to a 2-0 win over relegation-bound De Graafschap.

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GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) - Celtic is just one point away from clinching its first Scottish title since 2008 after beating St. Johnstone 2-0 in the Premier League on Sunday.

Greece striker Georgios Samaras opened the scoring in the 66th minute before Chris Millar's own goal sealed victory at Celtic Park, leaving Neil Lennon's side 18 points clear of Glasgow rival Rangers.

Celtic will have the opportunity to wrap up its 43rd Scottish title when it visits Kilmarnock next Saturday.

Defending champion Rangers, docked 10 points in February for going into administration, beat Motherwell 2-1 on Saturday to thwart Celtic's hopes of sealing the championship this weekend.

Celtic players warmed up for the match wearing No. 19 shirts as a tribute to former midfielder and current Aston Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov, who was diagnosed with acute leukaemia on Friday.

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