Friday, September 22, 2017

Serie A Review: Totti makes 600th appearance as Roma continue Napoli battle

SoccerNews in Serie A 8 May 2016

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Francesco Totti made his 600th Serie A appearance for Roma as they beat Chievo 3-0 to keep pace with Napoli in the race for second place.

Totti has been typically inspirational as Luciano Spalletti’s side have enjoyed a late-season charge that could yet result in automatic Champions League qualification.

And the veteran captain made his latest cameo from the bench on Sunday to set up Miralem Pjanic’s result-capping strike after Radja Nainggolan and Antonio Rudiger had put the Giallorossi on course for a fourth win in a row.

Roma travel to Milan on the final day, hoping to capitalise on any slip-up Napoli might make when they host relegated Frosinone.

There was no chance for Roma to overtake on Sunday as Gonzalo Higuain and Jose Callejon struck early in Napoli’s 2-1 win at Torino.

Roma sit two points behind Napoli with one game to go, but a superior head-to-head record means Napoli must win at the San Paolo to guarantee a spot in the group stages of next season’s Champions League.

Champions Juventus were surprisingly beaten 2-1 by Verona as Luca Toni stole the show in his final professional game.

The World Cup-winning striker opened the scoring at the Bentegodi with a delicately chipped penalty before Federico Viviani also scored for rock-bottom Verona. Paulo Dybala netted a penalty of his own with the last kick of the game after Juve had Alex Sandro sent off.

Palermo recorded an important 0-0 draw with Fiorentina in the battle against relegation as they moved out of the drop zone, while Carpi dropped to 18th place in the table following their 3-1 defeat at the hands of Lazio.

Palermo host Verona on the final day, while Carpi will need to better the Rosanero’s result when they head to Udinese if they are to survive in their maiden top-flight campaign.

Udinese recorded a 1-1 draw with Atalanta to ensure another year of Serie A football, while Sampdoria were hammered 3-0 by Genoa, Suso scoring twice.

Sassuolo beat Frosinone 1-0 courtesy of a late Matteo Politano strike to move ahead of Milan in the battle for a Europa League place.

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