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Serie A: Atalanta, Inter snatch UCL places on wild final day

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A roundup of all of Sunday’s final-day action in Italy’s top flight…

[ MORE: Chelsea, Real Madrid remain $38 million apart on Eden Hazard deal ]

Sampdoria (9th) 2-0 Juventus (1st)

With their eighth straight scudetto long since clinched, Juve slumped their way to the season’s finish line without a win in their final five games (three draws), including Sunday’s 2-0 loss away to Sampdoria. It was 0-0 for 83 minute, until Gregoire Defrel (84th) and Gianluca Caprari (91st) bagged late goals for the victory.

Atalanta (3rd) 3-1 Sassuolo (11th)

Atalanta completed their fairytale season and finished third in a hugely dramatic, chaotic way befitting their rapid rise to Champions League relevance. They finished 17th and avoided relegation by three points in 2015.

First, they fell behind when Domenico Berardi scored in the 19th minute. They were level by the 35 minute, thanks to Duvan Zapata’s equalizer. Then, things got weird.

Berardi was sent off during a massive skirmish between the two sides while leaving the field for halftime. With the score 1-1, and both Inter Milan and AC Milan ahead after 51 minutes, Atalanta were headed for a fifth-place finish.

Alejandro Gomez put Atalanta ahead three minutes later, though, and Mario Pasalic doubled the advantage in the 65th.

Inter Milan (4th) 2-1 Empoli (18th – relegated)

At that 51-minute mark, Keita Balde’s opening goal put Inter ahead of Empoli, but the visitors equalized in the 76th, briefly dropping them to fifth.

That lasted all of five minutes, as Radja Nainggolan put Luciano Spaletti’s side back in front, where they would finish the season. The top-four finished the day exactly as it began — Atalanta in 3rd and Inter Milan in 4th, each on 69 points.

SPAL (13th) 2-3 AC Milan (5th)

For those five glorious minutes, AC Milan were headed back to the Champions League for the first time since 2014, and were set to do so at the expense of their local rivals.

Finishing fourth, but behind Inter, would have been fine, but finishing fourth and ahead of Inter would have been a dreamland outcome. Alas, it’s a fifth-place finish on 68 points and another season in the Europa League for the Rossoneri.

Elsewhere in Serie A

Bologna (10th) 3-2 Napoli (2nd – Saturday)
Frosinone (19th – relegated) 0-0 Chievo (20th – relegated – Saturday)
Roma (6th) 2-1 Parma (14th)
Torino (7th) 3-1 Lazio (8th)
Cagliari (15th) 1-2 Udinese (12th)
Fiorentina (16th) 0-0 Genoa (17th)

Lazio controversially tops Atalanta to win seventh Coppa Italia

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The latest name to grace the Coppa Italia is Lazio.

Late goals from Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Joaquin Correa lifted the Roman side to a 2-0 defeat of Atalanta in the Italian Cup Final.

It’s Lazio’s 7th Coppa Italia, tied for third with Inter Milan. Juventus won the previous four to give it 13 all-time, while Roma’s nine are good for second.

[ MORE: Derby County reaches playoff final ]

Atalanta boss Gian Piero Gasperini was furious with officials for not consulting VAR after ex-Middlesbrough defender Marten De Roon‘s shot hit the hand of Lazio defender Bastos in the box. From the BBC:

“Are we meant to only use VAR when it’s handy? It was a penalty and a red card,” Gasperini said. “This is a scandal. Tell me why it happened? Give me some justification.”

The match was a sub-story in some areas, as fans lit a police car on fire as part of several clashes with authorities.

Atalanta up to third in Serie A after beating Genoa

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MILAN (AP) Atalanta kept alive its dream of qualifying for the Champions League for the first time by beating relegation-threatened Genoa 2-1 in Serie A on Saturday.

[ MORE: Serie A scores, schedule

Halftime substitute Musa Barrow scored seconds after the interval and Timothy Castagne doubled Atalanta’s lead in the 53rd minute as the team stretched its unbeaten streak to 11 matches and moved to third in Serie A.

Goran Pandev netted a consolation for Genoa a minute from time.

Atalanta moved two points above fourth-placed Inter Milan, which hosts already-relegated Chievo Verona on Monday.

The top four from Serie A qualify for the Champions League. AC Milan and Roma are four points below Inter.

Milan visits Fiorentina later, while Roma hosts Italian champion Juventus on Sunday. There are two rounds remaining after this weekend.

Genoa remained four points above the relegation zone.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Atalanta takes 47 shots, including 17 on target, but fails to score in Serie A match

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In case you were watching the Premier League action this afternoon, there was some history made in Serie A.

In a match between Atalanta and Empoli on Monday, Atalanta had an incredible 47 shots, including 17 on target, but failed to score in a scoreless draw. According to Paul Carr of TruMediaSports, Atalanta’s expected goal number of 5.86xG was the highest for a team without scoring a goal in his company’s 85,000 game database.

[READ, WATCH: Arsenal defeats ten-man Watford on the road]

Per Opta, Empoli goalkeeper Bartlomiej Dragowski’s 17 saves was the most since when Opta started recording data during the 2004/2005 season. The 21-year-old is on loan with Empoli from Fiorentina, who signed him in 2016. He’s featured for Poland youth national teams all the way to the Under-21s, but he has yet to make his full international debut. Of course, he’s behind former Arsenal goalkeepers Wojciech Szczęsny and Łukasz Fabiański in the pecking order.

After 32 games, Atalanta sits in the Europa League qualification places in the Serie A table, finding itself in sixth place with 53 points. A win on Monday would have jumped Atalanta into a tie for fourth place in the table with AC Milan, which are just two points ahead of Atalanta.

Serie A: Napoli draw postpones Juventus Scudetto celebrations

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Here’s a roundup of all of Sunday’s action in Italy’s top flight…

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Genoa 1-1 Napoli

Despite holding a man advantage for more than an hour, Carlo Ancelotti and Napoli could only muster a 1-1 draw thanks to a valiant effort by Genoa.

It was Napoli’s third match in its last five games without a win, giving Juventus a 20-point lead at the top of the table and putting them one point away from securing the title, which it can do at SPAL next week. Meanwhile, Napoli is still secure in second place in the table, especially after a dominating 4-1 win at AS Roma a week ago. However, they were defeated 2-1 by Empoli in midweek and now with the Genoa result, it’s a pair of surprise results for one of Italy’s top teams.

Ancelotti is under some pressure as well for leaving Lorenzo Insigne on the bench, and now the team has to turn things around just four days from a trip to London to face Arsenal in the UEFA Europa League.

Inter Milan 0-0 Atalanta

After six weeks out of the squad, Mauro Icardi made his return to the San Siro in his second-straight appearance for Inter Milan, as Inter played Atalanta to a scoreless draw.

Icardi drew jeers from the ultras at the San Siro but was reportedly supported from the other sections of the crowd, after it looked like he would never play for the club again. Icardi had the best chance of the game, going one-on-one with Pierluigi Gollini, but his chip was blocked.

Radja Nainggolan started on the bench but came on for Marcelo Brozovic, who looks to be out for at least a few weeks with a muscle strain.

Elsewhere in Serie A

Fiorentina 0-1 Frosinone
Udinese 3-2 Empoli
Cagliari 2-1 SPAL
Lazio 2-2 Sassuolo