Rome, 3 August 2020 (dpa/MIA) – Lecce were relegated from Serie A on Sunday after a 4-3 defeat at home to Parma as the coronavirus-hit Italian top flight season finally concluded.
Third-bottom Lecce went into matchday 38 one point behind Genoa, who beat Verona 3-0, and will join previously relegated Brescia and SPAL in Serie B next season.
Lecce were trailing on 11 minutes as Fabio Lucioni diverted the ball into his own goal after Hernani had sent a drive against the post.
The southerners’ woes worsened when Gianluca Caprari fired home from the edge of the box on 24, but they bounced back by half-time through headers by Antonin Barak and Biagio Meccariello.
Andreas Cornelius and substitute Roberto Inglese made it 4-2 for Parma but the hosts struck again with Gianluca Lapadula nodding in after Yevhen Shakhov’s header hit the post.
It was not enough however and Lecce return to the second tier after just one season back in the top flight.
In Genoa, Paraguayan striker Antonio Sanabria met no opposition when he nodded in Lukas Lerager’s cross on 13 minutes and was again unmarked when netting with a clinical drive after Goran Pandev fed him in the box on 25.
Cristian Romero headed in the third before the break. The Genoese also clinched safety in the final round of matches last season.
Romero exited with a second booking and Verona coach Ivan Juric followed him for his protests. Verona’s Sofyan Amrabat and Genoa’s Francesco Cassata were also red-carded for clashing off the ball in stoppage time.
“Safety was our primary goal. We worked hard for this and we won all the direct clashes [against struggling sides],” said goalkeeper Mattia Perin, who joined Genoa on loan from Juventus in January.
“We clinched 28 points since the coach [Davide Nicola] arrived [with 21 matchdays left]. Genoa is a glorious club and we are happy to have kept it in Serie A.”
Remaining action saw Udinese edge Sassuolo 1-0, Fiorentina beat SPAL 3-1 and Bologna coach Sinisa Mihajlovic tallied his 300th Serie A game as his side drew 1-1 with Torino.
A minute’s silence was observed before the game to remember the 85 victims of a terrorist attack at the Bologna train station 40 years ago.
On Saturday, Juventus had the title already secured as they lost 3-1 against Roma. Inter Milan beat Atalanta 2-0, Napoli beat Lazio 3-1 and Brescia drew 1-1 with Sampdoria.
Sixth-place AC Milan hammered Cagliari 3-0 to remain the only unbeaten side in the 12 games played since the season restarted without fans in June, after being suspended for more than three months because of the coronavirus.
The Rossoneri qualified for the next Europa League with Roma and Napoli. Juve, Inter, Atalanta and Lazio clinched the four slots for the elite Champions League.