Incredible drama on the final day of Serie A saw Parma squeak past Torino and AC Milan for the final European spot in Italy’s top flight.
Torino’s Antonio Cerci had an injury-time penalty saved by Fiorentina goalkeeper Antonio Rosati, and the miss meant Parma safely finishes in sixth position with a victory over Livorno.
The goal would have seen Torino into Europe, as they began the day a point ahead of Parma, but they could only muster a 2-2 draw against Cerci’s old club.
All three of Torino, Parma, and AC Milan at one point in the 90 minutes had qualification in their control. For AC Milan, a disastrous five-minute stretch saw them go from leading the chase to bottom of the heap.
An early 2-0 lead over Sassuolo combined with a Torino one-goal deficit and Parma 0-0 scoreline meant Milan were in on goal differential by one. However, early in the second halves Parma took the lead when Amauri scored just minutes after coming off the bench, and Torino leveled through Marcelo Larrondo also fresh out of the dugout.
That pair of goals meant that even Milan’s 2-1 victory wasn’t enough, and Parma finished on 58 points as Amauri ended with a brace. They complete the season one point above both Torino and Milan.
Meanwhile, Napoli pummeled five goals past Verona, giving them a total of 104 goals on the year in all competitions, a new club record.
With Gonzalo Higuain still injured, it was Duvan Zapata up front, and the Colombian didn’t disappoint with a brace, as well as two for Dries Mertens and a prize for Jose Callejon for the icing on the cake.
It wraps up a solid season for Napoli, who will be playing in the Champions League next year alongside Juventus and Roma after a comfortable third-place finish.
Elsewhere, Inter failed to win on the final day as they could be sending Walter Mazzarri out on a low note, falling to Verona 2-1. Mazzarri’s job could be in jeopardy as his side could only limp to a fifth place finish, a year after a ninth-place ending saw out Andrea Stramaccioni.
Lazio took out Bologna 1-0 as Lucas Biglia’s stoppage-time penalty locked in Lazio’s ninth-place finish.
Juventus ended their successful title run with a 3-0 win over Cagliari to put them over the century mark on the year, finishing on 102 points.
Roma, meanwhile, finished 17 points back in second place with a disappointing 1-0 loss at Genoa, with Ioannis Fetfatzidis scoring the winner seven minutes from full time. They still finish with 85 points for their best table result in four years. Genoa end up in 14th.
Despite already being mathematically relegated, Catania went out on a high note with a 2-1 win over Atalanta. Sassuolo’s loss to Milan makes relegation sting even more for Catania, as they finish the year just two points back in 18th. Atalanta ends up 11th, four back of the top 10.