Isnin, 19 Mei 2014

Serie A review

Record haul for Juve, Parma into Europa

Champions Juventus eased their way through the 100-point barrier to end the Serie A season with a league record 102 thanks to a comfortable 3-0 win over Cagliari.

Before taking possession of their third straight Scudetto -- the 30th in the club's history -- the Bianconeri saw off the Sardinians with yet another stylish performance, emphasising their superiority in Italian football once again.

Andrea Pirlo opened the scoring in the eighth minute with Fernando Llorente and Claudio Marchisio also on target in a one-sided first half.

The Bianconeri then ran the clock down as home fans at the Juventus Stadium showed their support for coach Antonio Conte, who has recently raised doubts over his future in Turin.

Finishing 17 points behind the champions were runners-up Roma, whose prosperous campaign ended on a sour note as Ioannis Fetfatzidis clinched a 1-0 victory for Genoa at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris.

Fetfatzidis' late winner meant the Giallorossi could not sign off with a positive result, but they can now spend the summer preparing for a return to the Champions League group stages having plundered 85 points.

Parma won a dramatic race for the final Europa League place at the expense of rivals Torino and AC Milan.

Torino started the night in sixth place and knew victory at Fiorentina would definitely see them qualify for Europe, but they struggled to force a 2-2 draw with La Viola.

Marcelo Larrondo pegged Fiorentina back after Giuseppe Rossi scored from the penalty spot and Jasmin Kurtic's late free-kick negated the effect of Ante Rebic's goal for the hosts.

Parma were leading Livorno through Amauri's brace when Torino were handed a lifeline during stoppage time in Tuscany. Alessio Cerci missed from the penalty spot, however, and Parma were back in Europe for the first time since 2007 as they held on to win 2-0.

AC Milan managed to beat Sassuolo 2-1 at San Siro thanks to goals from Sulley Muntari and Nigel de Jong -- Simone Zaza scored a late penalty for the visitors -- yet finished in eighth place. Three players -- Philippe Mexes, Mattia De Sciglio and Paolo Cannavaro -- were sent off as tempers flared in Milan.

Napoli celebrated another third-placed finish with a 5-1 romp against mid-table Hellas Verona. Jose Callejon opened the scoring before Duvan Zapata hit two goals in 12 minutes. Dries Mertens grabbed a brace of his own in the second half, with Juan Iturbe responding for Hellas in between times.

Inter Milan were counting their blessings they had managed to secure fifth place last weekend as Chievo handed them a surprise 2-1 defeat in Verona. Former Chievo defender Marco Andreolli gave Inter the lead, but Flying Donkeys substitute Victor Obinna turned the game on its head with two goals in the last 17 minutes.

Catania left Serie A with some pride after clinching a 2-1 win over Atalanta. The Sicilians took the lead through Francesco Lodi in the 65th minute, but Moussa Kone brought Atalanta level.

A late penalty from Gonzalo Bergessio enabled Catania to take all three points and move to within a few points of safety, but their relegation had been confirmed last weekend.

Bologna are also returning to Serie B and bid farewell to the top flight with a 1-0 defeat at Lazio. Lucas Biglia scored the only goal on the stroke of full-time and the Biancocelesti were able to snatch ninth place.


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