Serie A: Ronaldo benched as Juventus sneak into UCL on final day


Depending on how you look at it, either Juventus snuck into next season’s UEFA Champions League on Sunday, or Napoli choked away their place in Europe’s top-tier competition on the final day of the Serie A season.

[ MORE: 10 things we learned on the Premier League’s final day ]

Bologna 1-4 Juventus

The story of the day emerged prior to kickoff, when manager Andrea Pirlo elected to drop Cristiano Ronaldo with Juventus needing a victory (and help elsewhere) to qualify for the Champions League. It wasn’t due to injury, however, as Pirlo called it a “technical decision.”

Alas, it mattered very little for Juventus, who hit Bologna for three goals in the first half and cruised to three points away from home. Federico Chiesa got the party started in the 6th minute and Alvaro Morata doubled the advantage just before the half-hour mark.

Adrien Rabiot added a third just before halftime and Morata made it 4-0 two minutes into the second half. Despite the fact they failed to win the Serie A title for the 10th straight season, Juventus are set for a 10th successive campaign in the Champions League.

Now, the attention shifts to Ronaldo’s future at the club. Prior to being dropped on Sunday, there were reports that the Portuguese superstar would be moving on this summer. Pirlo’s final-day decision will have only further fanned the flames of speculation.

Napoli 1-1 Hellas Verona

There was a time in this game, albeit a brief one, in which Napoli were headed for Champions League qualification at the expense of the recent nine-time champions.

Amir Rrahmani put Napoli ahead against the club for whom he played last season in the 60th minute, but Marco Faraoni hit back in the 69th to make it 1-1 and Napoli couldn’t manufacture another goal with their season hanging in the balance.

Other Serie A results

Inter Milan 5-1 Udinese
Atalanta 0-2 AC Milan
Sassuolo 2-0 Lazio
Spezia 2-2 Roma
Crotone 0-0 Fiorentina
Cagliari 0-1 Genoa
Sampdoria 3-0 Parma
Torino 1-1 Benevento

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