Tiny Auxerre clinch French championship

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A hectic weekend of action around Europe saw Borussia Dortmund and Auxerre win their respective leagues.

Auxerre, from the heart of the Chablis white wine area, added the championship to the cup they won last weekend, to become the first French side to win the double since Marseille in 1989.

A 1-1 draw at Guingamp was enough to secure the title for the picturesque town with a population of less than 40,000. The title was a crowning achievement for Auxerre's coach, Guy Roux, who has been with the club for 35 years. "It is fair that those who have been working hard for a long time one day obtain a reward," he said.

Roux is notorious for wanting to control everything at his club, but in football terms believes the game should be played simply and fluently. Not a lover of defensive football, he prefers watching an English match than an Italian one.

Dortmund secured the German championship for the second successive season when they drew 2-2 at 1860 Munich while their closest rivals Bayern Munich, presently under the temporary control of Franz Beckenbauer, saw their faint hopes disappearing in a 2-1 defeat at Schalke. That result left Dortmund with an unassailable four-point lead.

Dortmund's triumph is bound to increase the uncertainty surrounding Jurgen Klinsmann's future at Bayern.

The German striker returned to Munich 12 months ago, after a highly successful year with Tottenham. However, has not had a particularly satisfactory time back in his homeland, and a number of English clubs are thought to be eager to facilitate his return to the Premiership. Real Madrid are also reported to be interested in signing him.

Dortmund secured their fifth title after successes in 1956, 1957, 1963 and 1995 but it was only the second time the Ruhr club had won the championship since the present Bundesliga league structure was put in place in 1963.

Milan celebrated the championship they won last weekend with a 7-1 victory over Cremonese as the Italian league season came to a close yesterday. George Weah and Paolo Di Canio both scored twice as Milan claimed their biggest victory of the campaign while Demetrio Albertini, Christian Panucci and Zvonimir Boban also got on the scoresheet.

The Lazio striker Giuseppe Signori scored in his side's 2-0 victory over Torino. Signori's goal was his 24th of the campaign and helped him finish as Serie A's joint top-scorer - sharing the honour with Bari's Igor Protti, who put two past Juventus in a 2-2 draw.

Lazio's victory, coupled with Parma's 2-0 defeat at Cagliari and Roma's 1-0 win over Inter, left Lazio sure of a Uefa Cup place next season.

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