Thanks to Rounds 36 and 37 of Serie A, there are only two significant spots that haven’t been decided in the table heading into the final matchday. AC Milan took on Roma on Sunday evening in what could’ve seen them clinching Champions League qualification. That final Champions League berth remains up in the air along with the remaining Europa League slot in fifth place.
Milan and Roma battled to a 0-0 draw at the San Siro, but the game was overshadowed with one of Italian football’s recurring problems; racism. From the beginning of the match until the issue was addressed, the traveling Romanisti in the third tier of the stadium repeatedly targeted Rossoneri forward Mario Balotelli with racist chanting. Despite several warnings from the PA announcer that play would be suspended, the chants continued until finally the referee stopped the action. From there, Mr. Rocchi, the man in charge on the pitch, asked Roma captain Francesco Totti to tell the away supporters to stop. Rocchi resumed the match, and thankfully the racism stopped, although they simply replaced it with “Milan, Milan, f*** off!”
It put a black eye on what was supposed to be a marquee fixture. Roma came in just two points behind Udinese for fifth while Milan, after a tumultuous start to their season, attempted to secure a top three spot. Despite several efforts from both sides, neither could find the winning tally. The Giallorossi will have the happier set of supporters given the respective situations both teams are in. They’re not going to qualify for the Europa League thanks to the draw, but they could still feature in the competition if they triumph in the Coppa Italia final later this month.
Milan, meanwhile, still need to win in order to get into Europe next season. If Fiorentina fails to record a victory, though, il Diavolo automatically finish third and will enter the Champions League in the best placed playoff in August.
Other talking points
- Fiorentina had to win in order to keep their faint Champions League hopes alive. They did just that, winning 1-0 against Palermo. Even if AC Milan end up clinching a top three spot, they’ve already guaranteed a place in the Europa League as the 4th best team in Serie A. Not bad for a side that finished 13th and was battling relegation near the end of the 2011/12 campaign.
- Speaking of relegation, Palermo, on the other hand, have confirmed their demotion to Serie B, joining Siena and Pescara next year. The Maurizio Zamparini managerial merry-go-round didn’t pay off this time and the club president suffered the worst punishment for persisting with it.
- A week removed from securing a second straight Scudetto, Juventus hosted Cagliari on Saturday. Substitute Mirko Vucinic salvaged a point for the champions, who received the league title post-match. A long, drawn out summer awaits the Bianconeri in a little over seven days.
- Genoa can finally breathe. Thanks to their 0-0 draw versus Inter and Palermo’s defeat, the Grifone live to see top flight football for at least another year. While Inter are just waiting for their disastrous season to end.
- Edinson Cavani scored in Napoli’s final home match of 2012/13 against relegated Siena. The Partenopei already guaranteed their place in the Champions League group stage earlier last week, but what’s significant is that Sunday night could’ve been Cavani’s final appearance at the San Paolo.
- Lazio continue their strong finish to the season, winning their third straight match 2-0 over Sampdoria. With the Coppa Italia final against city rivals Roma looming, the Biancocelesti are looking like the in-form side heading into the derby.
- After yet another year where Udinese had more key players depart with new unknowns entering in their place, manager Francesco Guidolin may be able to attain the club’s third straight appearance in Europe. The Zebrette now hold onto fifth place, up two points on Lazio heading into the final matchday.
Other results: Catania 1-0 Pescara; Chievo 1-1 Torino; Parma 0-2 Bologna