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Serie A

Serie A Week 36 Roundup: Juventus Scudetto celebrations on hold while Atalanta party into Europe

Roma denied Juventus the chance of confirming their sixth consecutive Serie A title by coming from behind to claim a 3-1 win at the Stadio Olimpico.

The win allowed the Giallorossi to close the gap to the Bianconeri to just four points with two weeks remaining in the league.

Celebrations were in full swing in Bergamo following Atalanta’s 1-1 draw with AC Milan, which was enough to clinch a historic Europa League qualification spot for La Dea.

Fiorentina 3-2 Lazio

Fiorentina hosted Lazio to kick-off the weekend’s proceedings where neither team was able to trouble the goalkeepers in the first forty-five minutes.

Ten minutes into the second half, Keita Balde latched onto a Luis Alberto through ball from his own half to open the scoring with his seventh goal in four matches.

The goal tempted Paulo Sousa to change things up with a triple substitution, which had an instant impact as the Viola went on to score three goals in nine minutes.

Khouma Babacar headed home from a Matias Vecino cross just two minutes after the substitution, followed by Nikola Kalinic’s first goal in five matches. The Croatian was also pivotal for the third with his shot rebounding off the post before Cristiano Lombardi put the ball in his own net with a failed clearance.

An 81st-minute Alessandro Murgia header would turn out to be a consolation for the Biancocelesti, going down 3-2 in Florence.

Atalanta 1-1 AC Milan

In Bergamo, AC Milan were searching for their first win in five matches against an Atalanta outfit who remained unbeaten in their last eight.

The Rossoneri found themselves 1-0 down just prior to half-time when Gianluigi Donnarumma was unable to hold onto a Leonardo Spinazzola squared ball, allowing Andrea Conti to tap in for the opener.

However, the young goalkeeper kept the away side in the match with a number of quality saves before Gerard Deulofeu worked his magic in the box to grab an 87th-minute equaliser.

The match would end 1-1, which was enough for La Dea to secure Europa League qualification, sparking wild celebrations through the night.

Inter 1-2 Sassuolo

Inter kicked off early at home to Sassuolo on Sunday having parted ways with coach Stefano Pioli midweek.

Led by the club’s Primavera coach Stefano Vecchi, the Nerazzurri came close to opening the scoring on multiple occasions, through Ivan Perisic and Mauro Icardi, with the latter hitting the post.

On 36 minutes, in a seasonally typical manner, they were made to pay as Pietro Iemmello finished off a quick counter attack against the run of play to give Sassuolo the lead.

That was enough for the Curva Nord, Inter’s main supporter group, to exit the stadium in protest at half-time. It turned out to be a wise choice after the Neroverdi doubled their lead just five minutes into the second half, Iemmello taking advantage of some poor marking to tap in for his second. Eder did manage to get a goal back for Inter with a shot across a crowded penalty area but it ended 2-1 to Sassuolo, all but ending Inter’s hopes at Europa League qualification following a fourth consecutive loss.

Torino 0-5 Napoli

Napoli got out of the blocks early away to Torino after Jose Callejon finished off a great through ball by Allan in the seventh minute. As they did against Cagliari, the Partenopei had to wait until the second half to add to their tally however once they did, the floodgates opened.

Lorenzo Insigne’s 60th minute strike would be followed by another three, with Dries Mertens beating Joe Hart at his near post on 72 minutes, Callejon grabbing his second after 76 minutes and Piotr Zielinski making it 5-0 another two minutes later.

The win allowed Napoli to temporarily leapfrog Roma into second place in the Serie A standings, remaining unbeaten in 10 league matches.

Around The Grounds

In the afternoon’s other matches, Bologna defeated Pescara 3-1, Palermo grabbed a 1-0 win at home to Genoa, Cagliari survived a late comeback to beat Empoli 3-2, Sampdoria drew 1-1 with Chievo, while Crotone earned their fifth win in seven matches with a narrow 1-0 victory over Udinese.

Roma 3-1 Juventus

Juventus had the opportunity to secure the Scudetto with a win away to Roma at the Stadio Olimpico, providing a fitting finale for the weekend’s fixtures.

In the 21st minute, Mario Lemina finished off a superb Bianconeri team move for the opener, as title celebrations looked promising. However just four minutes later, Kostas Manolas headed goal-wards from a Roma corner and after two saves from Gianluigi Buffon, Daniele De Rossi eventually grabbed the equaliser.

The Giallorossi came out for the second half aggressively picking up three yellow cards in 15 minutes. However, Stephan El Shaarawy ensured the strategy paid off after 56 minutes, producing a mesmerising shot along the ground, which spun around a helpless Buffon to give the home side a lead.

Radja Nainggolan thundered home for a third less than ten minutes later and Roma were able to hold the reigning Champions out for the remainder of the match, securing a famous victory and delaying the Bianconeri’s title celebrations for at least another week.

The win allowed Roma to regain second position from Napoli, with the top three now separated by just five points. Meanwhile Crotone have now moved to within striking distance of Serie A safety, with Empoli and Genoa sitting just one and two points ahead of the Calabrese club respectively.

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