Torino, Lazio and Verona all won in Serie A on Sunday as the race for the final UEFA Europa League spot looks set to go down to the wire.
With Coppa Italia finalists Napoli and Fiorentina all-but assured of a top-five finish this season, sixth place in the league will earn a place in next year’s competition, and the race looks set to be a tight one with five clubs separated by just one point with three matches remaining.
Torino, Lazio and Verona are all level on 52 points, while Parma and Milan sit a point behind in ninth and 10th spots respectively.
Giampiero Ventura’s Torino were victorious on Sunday, seeing off Udinese 2-0 at home thanks to goals from Omar El Kaddouri on 15 minutes and Ciro Immobile 11 minutes after the break – the striker’s 21st league goal of the season.
He is now two clear of Verona’s Luca Toni, who opened the scoring in the sixth minute of their 4-0 home win over bottom club Catania.
Alberto Frison’s own goal doubled the advantage on 28 minutes, before Marquinho on the stroke of half-time and substitute Juan Gomez 15 minutes from the end sealed a comprehensive win for Andrea Mandorlini’s men.
Lazio kept pace with their rivals thanks to a 2-0 away success at struggling Livorno.
Stefano Mauri put the visitors in front after quarter of an hour, and Antonio Candreva’s penalty six minutes after the interval sealed Lazio’s win.
The result saw Edoardo Reja’s men leapfrog Parma, who went down 1-0 at Cagliari thanks to Mauricio Pinilla’s 35th-minute penalty.
Elsewhere, Sampdoria ended a three-match losing streak in dramatic fashion by beating Chievo 2-1 at home, despite going down to 10 men.
Shkodran Mustafi was shown a straight red card for a foul on Chievo’s Victor Obinna midway through the second half.
Cyril Thereau tucked away the resulting spot-kick before Samp staged a surprise comeback in the final 10 minutes,
Eder pulling them level before Roberto Soriano won it for the home side in stoppage time.
The late turnaround comes as a huge blow to Chievo, who sit 16th in the table, just two points above the drop zone.
In the day’s final game, Atalanta drew 1-1 at home with 10-man Genoa.
The visitors went in front in the 27th minute through Paolo De Ceglie, but were dealt a blow shortly after half-time when Daniele Portanova was sent off for a foul on German Denis inside the area.
Denis saw the resulting spot-kick kept out by Mattia Perin, but his blushes were saved when substitute Giuseppe De Luca rescued a point for the home side eight minutes from time.
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