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Napoli snatch Champions League berth, Milan come closer

Source : IANS
Last Updated: Thu, May 09, 2013 13:10 hrs

Rome, May 9 (IANS) Napoli beat Bologna 3-0 to book a Champions League football berth for next season, while AC Milan came closer to that spot after thrashing Pescara 4-0 in Italian Serie A.

The goals of Walter Mazzarri's side came in the second half Wednesday and confirmed that they are to finish runners-up this season, thus qualifying themselves for season's UEFA Champions League, reports Xinhua.

Napoli broke the deadlock in the 54th minute through Marek Hamsik's 20-yard effort. Edinson Cavani quickly doubled Napoli's advantage from the penalty spot for his fourth goal in two games, before Blerim Dzemaili fired in a third.

"It is an exceptional achievement and with another two victories we can even beat the points total of Diego Maradona's side," said Mazzarri.

"I am very satisfied with what we've done so far and we want to end the season on a high. In certain ways, I liked the team even more than the first time we got into the Champions League, as we are behind only an extraordinary Juventus. For the last four years Napoli have reached Europe and this is why the players deserve nothing but praise," he said.

AC Milan's chance to finish third at the end of the season got boosted after beating Pescara, who were relegated to Serie B last Sunday. Sulley Muntari and Mathieu Flamini added to a Mario Balotelli brace as the visitors dominated proceedings and eased to three points.

Inter suffered a heavy blow in their hope of a top-six finish follow their 3-1 loss to Lazio at San Siro.

The win was Lazio's first at San Siro for 15 years, and their head coach Vladimir Petkovic felt sorry for Inter.

Inter head coach Andrea Stramaccioni admitted he was left speechless by the defeat in which Ricky Alvarez slipped while taking a penalty.

Serie A champions Juventus overcame Atalanta courtesy of a solitary goal from Alessandro Matri in the 18th minute.

However, the game was overshadowed by fan trouble as both sets of supporters threw fireworks at each other, which Juve coach Antonio Conte and the Atalanta players personally tried to calm down.

Udinese moved into fifth place with a 3-2 win at Palermo, who now have little hope of surviving the drop with two games remaining. Palermo's defeat meant that Sampdoria are mathematically safe following a 1-1 draw with Catania, in which Lorenzo De Silvestri and Nicolas Spolli scored.

Relegation candidates Torino and Genoa earned a vital point each in a 0-0 draw, which has kept both sides out of the bottom three.




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