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Is there a way to stop end-of-season farces?

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AS Roma are absolutely livid after Inter Milan regained the lead in Serie A with a 2-0 win at Lazio, where the home fans cheered the goals as much as the away supporters.

Lazio fans hate Roma so much that many of them wanted their own side to lose on Sunday as it meant their bitter city rivals were knocked off top spot. This was despite the fact Lazio are not clear of relegation yet.

“If I was Inter I would be ashamed of winning like that,” Roma president Rosella Sensi told reporters, despite Lazio putting up a fight in the first half.

Liverpool fans had a similar dilemma when losing to Chelsea on Sunday. Defeat meant their Champions League dreams were over but at least hated rivals Manchester United stayed behind Chelsea in the title race with one game to go.

Will Liverpool do United a favour? See what our predictions panel thinks

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Liverpool will not be keen on helping Manchester United in their title bid but a victory over Chelsea on Sunday could push the Reds closer to that fourth Champions League spot.

A real dilemma for Liverpool fans, already battered and bruised by a poor season and Thursday’s Europa League semi-final elimination at the hands of Atletico Madrid.

Europa League semi-finals — live

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The Champions League has brought little joy to English clubs this season but the Europa League has been a different story, with Liverpool and Fulham both in with a chance of making the final.

Join us for live chat and on-the-spot details from our reporters as Liverpool take on Atletico Madrid and Fulham face Hamburg in the semi-final second legs.

Liverpool miss Torres more than Atletico

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SOCCER-EUROPA/We were treated to the all too rare sight of rival fans standing and sportingly applauding each other at the end of the Europa League semi-final first-leg between Atletico Madrid and Liverpool at the Calderon on Thursday.

The Spanish club’s 1-0 victory had not poisoned the atmosphere, as so often happens, and both sets of supporters sang out the name of former Atletico striker Fernando Torres, now at Liverpool, to the tune of “I love you, Baby.”

20 long years for Liverpool faithful

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Madrid-based correspondent Martin Roberts writes:

SOCCER-EUROPA/One anniversary Liverpool fans will not be celebrating this summer will be the 20 years since their side last won a league title, a long wait that not only frustrates supporters but must dent any team’s claim to be more than also-rans.

It must be humiliating for those supporters who can remember when Liverpool had the League trophy ready and waiting if a home win sealed the title – all they had to do was fetch it down from the trophy room and give it a quick polish.

Premier League in decline or just a minor blip?

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SOCCER-CHAMPIONS/English clubs have failed to reach the Champions League semi-finals for the first time since 2003, after Arsenal were undone by a superior Barcelona side driven by the brilliant Lionel Messi and Manchester United suffered an astonishing breakdown against Bayern Munich.

They joined Premier League leaders Chelsea on the sidelines, as well as Liverpool after their exit in the group phase. The question is whether this is a shift in the balance of power or merely a blip.

Should fans have the right to buy into their clubs?

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SOCCER-SPAIN/BARCELONA-PRESIDENTInteresting story in the Guardian this morning, saying Britain’s Labour government, if re-elected, are ready to unleash plans to give fans the right to buy their clubs when they come up for sale, and to insist that current club owners give up a stake as high as 25 percent to their supporters.

If we can leave the politics aside (there is an election on the way, and the opposition Conservatives have said acting now, after 13 years in power, makes it a pre-vote gimmick) do you think this is a good idea?

At least Liverpool can challenge United in the Predictions League

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Manchester United v Liverpool is the standout game in the Premier League this weekend and how Rafa Benitez’s men would love to damage their rivals’ title charge and boost their own push for fourth spot.

Last week was probably the best collective performance this term from our predictions league panel (with yours truly top-scoring with a shock 16) so it will be interesting to see what we make of the Old Trafford clash given our rich vein of form.

Predicting another great leap forward from Arsenal

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SOCCER-CHAMPIONSNow all that Winter Sports malarkey is out of the way, we can cast all thoughts of the Couver out of our minds and get back to the serious business: the title race run-in, and the predictions league tussle that goes along with it.

Chelsea are the weekend’s main absentees, as they toil on in the FA Cup against a stoked City, so could we see another great leap forward from Arsenal?

Predictions league foresees more doom for Arsenal

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Arsenal’s 3-1 defeat at home to Manchester United last weekend has led many of our panel to predict similar gloom for Arsene Wenger’s men at Chelsea this Sunday.

It’s been a tough run of fixtures for the Gunners but for most of our “experts” here at Reuters Soccer blog, it’s been painful throughout the season. Do you think you would be better than our panel at predicting the Premier League scores each weekend? Believe me, it’s not hard to beat us.

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