Sydney triumph, Lyon march on
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Sydney FC were crowned champions in the Australian W-League after a thrilling finale at the weekend, while Lyon continued their scoring feats in the French Cup, and the league leaders stayed on course in Spain and Italy.

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Australia: Sydney FC crowned
Sydney FC secured their first title since 2009, and second overall, after beating Melbourne Victory 3-1 in the championship decider. The latter, appearing in their maiden grand final, were unable to make the most of the home advantage earned after finishing above their rivals in the standings. In front of a 4,181-strong crowd, the visitors had the upper hand early on, with Nicola Bolger putting coach Alen Stajcic’s side ahead. A free-kick from Swedish midfielder Petra Larsson ensured Melbourne went in level at the break, only for Samantha Kerr to restore Sydney’s lead immediately after the restart.

The match developed into an end-to-end encounter and a greater scoreline was prevented only by the heroics of both goalkeepers, Brianna Davey and Sham Khamis. The hosts’ hopes of a comeback were dashed shortly before the final whistle, as Maika Ruyter-Hooley was sent off for a foul inside the area. Kyah Simon made no mistake from the ensuing penalty to hand Sydney a 3-1 victory.

Italy: Tavagnacco close the gap
Reigning champions Torres Calcio remain top of the Italian league after Matchday 18, although their nine-point lead has been reduced to seven following a goalless draw with Napoli. Tavagnacco made up ground thanks to a 5-0 thumping of Fiammamonza, with a brace from Alice Parisi, as well as strikes from Kacie Oliver, Elisa Camporese and Michela Rodella securing the win. Brescia are still in third courtesy of a 3-1 triumph over Lazio.
Top three: Torres Calcio (50 points), Tavagnacco (43), Brescia (42)

France: Favourites show no mercy
Lyon continue to be the team to beat in France after transferring their imposing league form into the cup. Coach Patrice Lair’s side are on course to defend their title after a ruthless display in their last-32 tie against Epinal, marching into the next round with a 13-0 win. Both Eugenie Le Sommer and Camille Abily netted hat-tricks, Lara Dickenmann, Laetitia Tonazzi and Ami Otaki each bagged a brace, with Amandine Henry also on the scoresheet.

There was no let up from last year’s finalists Montpellier either, who made light work of Nivolas with a 4-1 triumph. Juvisy advanced to the next stage following a 10-0 hammering of Gonfreville, while the match between second-placed Paris Saint-Germain and AS Montigny-le-Bretonneux was postponed.

Spain: Top three in step
There was no change at the top after Matchday 19 in Spain, with Athletic Bilbao continuing at the summit thanks to a 4-0 win against Sevilla. Atletico Madrid remain three points behind after edging past Real Sociedad 1-0. Defending champions Barcelona beat San Gabriel 2-0 to stay third and can close the gap on second to a single point next week when they go head-to-head with Atletico.
Top three: Athletic Bilbao (50), Atletico Madrid (47), Barcelona (43)