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Second Place Still Up For Grabs

 

The battle for the runners-up spot in Serie A will go to the wire after Juventus beat Siena on Sunday while AC Milancame unstuck against Roma.

In the penultimate round, Juve climbed into second with a convincing 3-0 victory at Siena in what was Ciro Ferrara’s first match in charge. Former Juve defender Ferrara was brought in to replace Claudio Ranieri, who was sacked on Monday following a run of seven games without a win that had threatened their bid to qualify directly for next season’s Champions League. But Alessandro del Piero allayed those fears as he scored two and made another for Claudio Marchisio to wrap up victory.

Paolo Maldini’s final Serie A appearance at the San Siro ended on a losing note as Milan slipped to a 3-2 defeat against Roma. The visitors twice lost the lead as Massimo Ambrosini scored a second-half brace before being sent off after Francesco Totti’s 85th-minute winner. Full-back John Arne Riise and French forward Jeremy Menez scored Roma’s first two and the result seals their place in the Europa League.

Juve and Milan are all but assured of a place in the group stage of the Champions League as they sit three points clear of Fiorentina heading into the final round of fixtures. The Viola could only manage a 1-1 draw at Lecce, a result which confirmed the hosts’ relegation to Serie B. Simone Tiribocchi broke the deadlock for Lecce after 50 minutes, but Martin Jorgensen levelled in the last minute despite Felipe Melo’s red card two minutes previously.

Bologna and Torino are hoping to avoid the final relegation spot with Reggina’s fate already confirmed before. Bologna climbed out of the bottom three with a goalless draw against Chievo, while Torino fell to a 3-2 defeat at home to Genoa.

A double from Diego Milito, and a super strike from Ruben Oliveira clinched three points for the visitors. Ivan Franceschini and Rolando Bianchi scored for Torino, who also had Ignazio Abate sent off.

Elsewhere, Palermo saw their Europa League hopes ended by a 2-2 draw against Atalanta. Davide Succi and Fabrizio Miccoli found the target for Palermo, but a Gianvito Plasmati double ensured a share of the spoils for the hosts.

Inter Milan’s title celebrations were dampened slightly by a 2-1 defeat to Cagliari. Jose Mourinho’s men wrapped up the championship with two games to spare last weekend, but they fell to their fourth league defeat of the season at Stadio Sant’Elia. Zlatan Ibrahimovic had fired Inter in front after just eight minutes, but Cagliari hit back with strikes from Andrea Cossu and Robert Acquafresca.

Udinese and Sampdoria played out a 2-2 draw. Gaetano D’Agostino opened the scoring for Udinese from the penalty spot. Samp equalised thanks to an own goal from Mauricio Isla. Antonio Cassano put the hosts in front on the stroke of half-time from the spot but Udinese defender Felipe made sure his team secured a point.

Catania ran out 3-1 winners against Napoli thanks to goals from Takayuki Morimoto, Giuseppe Mascara and Vito Falconieri. Mariano Bogliacino scored for Napoli, who also had Daniele Mannini sent off for dissent.

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