AC Milan's Franck Kessie celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's opening goal. STEFANO NICOLI
Serie A

Juventus and AC Milan qualify for Champions League, Napoli miss out

Earlier on Sunday Ashley Young was on target as Inter Milan celebrated their Serie A title in front of 1,000 supporters.

LAST UPDATE | May 23rd 2021, 10:32 PM

JUVENTUS QUALIFIED FOR the Champions League on the final day of the season on Sunday with a 4-1 win at Bologna and were joined by AC Milan who beat Atalanta 2-0.

Napoli had to settle for a Europa League spot, finishing fifth one point behind Juventus, after a 1-1 draw at home against Hellas Verona.

A pair of Franck Kessie penalities at the end of either half ensured AC Milan finished the season second — 12 points behind city rivals Inter Milan — and return to the Champions League for the first time since the 2013-2014 season.

Atalanta have also booked a place in the Champions League.

Cristiano Ronaldo was left on the bench by Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo who opted for an attacking line-up of Paulo Dybala and Alvaro Morata flanked by Federico Chiesa and Dejan Kulusevski.

A Morata brace along with goals from Chiesa and Adrien Rabiot prevented Juventus missing out on the elite European competition for the first time since 2012.

In Naples, Amir Rrahmani scored for Napoli after an hour against his former club

But Marco Davide Faraoni pulled one back immediately for the visitors nine minutes later to deny Gennaro Gattuso’s side a return to elite European action after also missing out last season.

Earlier on Sunday Ashley Young struck early with his first goal of the season as champions Inter Milan celebrated their Serie A title in front of their home fans with a 5-1 season-ending victory over Udinese.

The game was watched by 1,000 fans inside the 75,000-seater San Siro for the first time in a campaign played behind closed doors because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Young grabbed the opener after eight minutes following a one-two with Lautaro Martinez for the English midfielder’s first effort in 26 games having scored four last season.

italy-soccer-serie-a Inter Milan's Ashley Young celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal. Nicola Marfisi Nicola Marfisi

The former Manchester United and Aston Villa winger has scored five goals in 59 games since moving to Italy in January 2020.

The 35-year-old also won the Premier League with United in 2013 and is the third English player to win in Italy after Jimmy Greaves and Gerry Hitchens with Inter in the 1960s.

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen came off the bench and scored with a freekick through the Udinese wall just before the break.

Martinez marked his 100th Serie A appearance with the third goal from the penalty spot ten minutes after the break for a foul on Achraf Hakimi. Ivan Perisic and Romelu Lukaku added two more in the second half.

There was a party atmosphere both inside and outside the stadium with the song of Italy’s Eurovision winners Maneskin blasting out during the interval.

- Handanovic makes history -

Inter captain Samir Handanovic was untroubled in goal against his former club in a game which saw him overtake Walter Zenga as the goalkeeper with the most league appearances for the club.

The 36-year-old lifted his first trophy with the club he joined in 2012 after eight seasons with Udinese.

The Slovenia keeper was substituted at half-time with Daniele Padelli coming off the bench with Roberto Pereyra getting a goal back for Udinese from the penalty spot with 10 minutes to go for an Eriksen handball.

Outside, over 4,000 Nerazzurri fans celebrated their 19th Serie A title and first since 2010, which had been secured with four games to spare.

The fans gathered early in the day with fireworks, flares and singing as the team bus arrived.

Antonio Conte’s side were presented with the trophy after the game having denied his former club Juventus a 10th consecutive league title this campaign.

© – AFP, 2021

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