Sunday European Rewind: Roma clinches UCL spot, Crotone guarantees safety, and more

Sunday European Rewind: Roma clinches UCL spot, Crotone guarantees safety, and more

European Soccer

Sunday European Rewind: Roma clinches UCL spot, Crotone guarantees safety, and more

Although Juventus clinched its sixth consecutive Serie A title a week ago, the final weekend of top-flight football in Italy still had teams with a lot to play for.

Roma guaranteed a spot in next season’s UEFA Champions League after a 3-2 home victory against Genoa on Sunday. Luciano Spalletti’s side used a 90th-minute winner from substitute Diego Perotti clinch a top-two finish. Darko Lazovic’s 79th-minute header pulled Genoa level after Daniele De Rossi had put Roma ahead, 2-1, minutes prior. Pietro Pellegri opened the scoring for Genoa in the third-minute, before Edin Dzeko equalized in the 10th. Despite missing several chances on goal, Roma held on for an important victory in what was also Francesco Totti’s final game in his 25-year career. Totti, who made his debut for Roma back in 1993, finished the season with three goals in all competitions.

Elsewhere, Napoli ended the season on a strong note, defeating Sampdoria, 4-2. Crotone guaranteed top-flight football for another season, edging Lazio, 3-1, while Empoli was relegated to Serie B after a 2-1 road loss at Palermo.

Here is a rundown of all Sunday’s Serie A action:

ITALIAN SERIE A

Crotone knew if they bettered Empoli’s result on Sunday, they would remain in the top-flight for 2017-18 and Davide Nicola’s side used a brace from Andrea Nalini to defeat visiting Lazio, 3-1. Nalini opened the scoring after 14 minutes, finishing off Marcus Rohden’s cross. Diego Falcinelli’s 13th goal of the season extended the hosts lead to 2-0 after 22 minutes. Ciro Immobile pulled Lazio to within one, scoring from the penalty spot just four minutes later. However, the visitors ended the second-half on a bad note, seeing Bartolomeu Bastos sent off in the 42nd minute. Nalini added the insurance goal for Crotone, heading home Gianmarco Ferrari’s headed assist in the 60th-minute. Nicola’s side held on for the win, which also gave them six wins in their final nine matches of the campaign. Lazio ends the season in fifth place, good for a spot in next season’s Europa League.

Third-place Napoli guaranteed themselves a spot in next season’s Champions League playoffs after a 4-2 road win at Sampdoria. The winners saw four different players get on the scoresheet, ending the season on a five-match winning streak. Dries Mertens’ 36th-minute opener put Napoli up 1-0 before Lorenzo Insigne doubled their advantage six minutes later. Marek Hamsik’s 49th-minute header made it 3-0 to Napoli before Fabio Quagliarella pulled one back for Sampdoria a minute later to make it 3-1. Jose Callejon re-extended Napoli’s three goal cushion in the 65th minute, half volleying Insigne’s cross to the bottom left corner. Ricardo Alvarez added a late consolation goal in stoppage-time, but Napoli held on for a comfortable road win. Samdoria finishes the season in 10th place on 48 points, while Napoli sets a club record for points in a season (86).

Empoli was relegated to Serie B following their 2-1 road loss at Palermo on Sunday afternoon. Following a scoreless first half at the Renzo Barbera, a Ilika Nesterovski header after 76 minutes kicked off the scoring. It was the Macedonian international’s 11th goal of the season. Palermo doubled their advantage in the 84th minute, as Bruno Henrique’s long-range effort made it 2-0. Rade Krunic pulled one back for Empoli just three minutes later, but that was the closest the comeback came. The visitors ended the season with three straight losses, which certainly didn’t help their cause in the race for league survival. Palermo, who was already guaranteed second-tier football next season, ended their season in 19th on 26 points.

Here’s all of Sunday’s Serie A results:

Cagliari 2 – A.C. Milan 1

Roma 3 – Genoa 2

Sampdoria 2 – Napoli 4

Crotone 3 – Lazio 1

Fiorentina 2 – Pescara 2

Inter Milan 5 – Udinese 2

Palermo 2 – Empoli 1

Torino 5 – Sassuolo 3

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