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Atalanta and Inter grab Champions League spots in Serie A finale

Atalanta beat nine-man visitors Sassuolo 3-1 Sunday to retain third place in the closing round of Italy's Serie A as Inter Milan claimed the fourth available Champions League slot.

Rome, 27 May 2019 (dpa/MIA) – Atalanta beat nine-man visitors Sassuolo 3-1 Sunday to retain third place in the closing round of Italy’s Serie A as Inter Milan claimed the fourth available Champions League slot.

Inter, who trail Atalanta on head-to-head record, edged Empoli 2-1, dooming the Tuscany side to relegation as third-bottom finishers, while fifth-place AC Milan and Roma fill the two Europa League slots.

Sassuolo had captain Domenico Berardi red-carded in a brawl at half-time after putting ahead his side with a low drive as Duvan Zapata flicked in for 1-1 in the 35th.

Atalanta clinched a first-ever participation in the Champions League as captain Alejandro Gomez flicked in after the break and crossed for the winning header of substitute Mario Pasalic. Francesco Magnanelli exited with a second booking with seven minutes left.

Keita Balde also came off the bench to put Inter ahead on 51 before his team-mate Mauro Icardi had a penalty saved and the unmarked Hamed Traore levelled on 76.

Radja Nainggolan tapped in the winner on 81 after Matias Vecino’s drive came off the post, but the bar saved the Nerazzurri when defender Danilo D’Ambrosio cleared a low cross in the 89th.

Keita was sent off after receiving a second caution in stoppage time.

Milan went two up from Hakan Calhanoglu and Franck Kessie drives, but headers from Francesco Vicari and Mohamed Fares levelled for Spal before Kessie converted a penalty on 66 minutes.

Lorenzo Pellegrini and Diego Perotti scored for Roma to beat guests Parma 2-1.

Fiorentina and Genoa drew 0-0 and averted relegation, while Udinese rallied to beat hosting Cagliari 2-1.

Champions Juventus ended the season with a 2-0 defeat at mid-table Sampdoria.

Gregoire Defrel scored with a seemingly botched effort with six minutes to go and substitute Gianluca Caprari curled a free-kick past Juve’s goalkeeper Carlo Pinsoglio in stoppage time.

Juve had secured the Scudetto with five games remaining, extending to eight successive titles a record they hold in the main European leagues.

Samp’s Fabio Quagliarella, 36, is set to retain the league’s top scorer spot with 26 goals, four more than Atalanta’s Zapata and Milan’s Krzysztof Piatek.

Juve ace Cristiano Ronaldo did not play in Genoa and remained on 21 goals as the departing coach Massimiliano Allegri led the Turin champions for a last game after lifting five titles in as many seasons.

Torino beat visiting Lazio 3-1 earlier Sunday to clinch seventh place.

Iago Falque and Sasa Lukic struck early in the second half before the Rome guests’ top striker Ciro Immobile pulled one back in the 66th and Lorenzo De Silvestri clinched victory on 80.

Lazio, who sit four points behind Il Toro, secured the third available place for the Europa League as winners of the Italian Cup.

The season’s 38th and last matchday opened Saturday with relegated sides Frosinone and Chievo drawing 0-0 as Bologna beat second-place Napoli 3-2.

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