As soon as the excitement of the final day of the English Premier League ended the focus shifted to the Italian Serie A where the former champions Juventus were in dire straits because their place in next season’s Champions League was a huge risk and obviously, it would be unusual to experience watching Cristiano Ronaldo playing in the Europa League.
Napoli 1-1 Verona
Bologna 1-4 Juventus
Napoli blow their chance to finish in the top four and Juventus are in next season’s Champions League pic.twitter.com/n8oyrVXw44
— cricketsoccer (@cricketsoccer) May 23, 2021
In a dramatic evening, Juventus were able to sneak into the Champions League courtesy of a 4-1 win at Bologna coupled with Napoli being held to a 1-1 draw at home to Verona.
Marco Faraoni’s effort 21 minutes from time in the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium canceled out Amir Rrahmani’s opener for the hosts after an hour.
It meant Gennaro Gattuso’s side finished on 77 points and Alvaro Morata’s brace helped Juventus to a win which saw them end a point above Napoli.
Only one player in history has finished as top scorer in the Premier League, La Liga and Serie A.
Cristiano Ronaldo pic.twitter.com/qZOeO8kUui
— cricketsoccer (@cricketsoccer) May 24, 2021
Federico Chiesa and Adrien Rabiot were also on target before Riccardo Orsolini grabbed a consolation for Bologna.
There was also drama involving the clubs based in Rome.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s goal in the 85th minute ensured Roma were able to draw 2-2 at Spezia which qualified them for the Europa Conference League in Pablo Fonseca’s final match before José Mourinho takes over this summer.
Trailing by two goals at half-time, a point would be enough for seventh and after Stephan El Shaarawy reduced the deficit, Mkhitaryan produced the goods late on for the visitors.
— Zlatan Ibrahimović (@Ibra_official) May 23, 2021
It meant Sassuolo missed out on a place in Europe despite a 2-0 win over Lazio, who finished sixth, while AC Milan were indebted to a brace of spot-kicks by Franck Kessie which earned victory at Atalanta by the same score to pip the hosts to the second spot.
Already relegated Benevento bid farewell to Serie A with a 1-1 draw at Torino, the team who consigned them back to the second tier of Italian football.
Juventus were almost done and dusted, but it needed a slice of luck to seal a place in the top four. Most importantly, Cristiano Ronaldo became the top scorer in a particular season in three of Europe’s top five Leagues – he achieved such a feat in Manchester United, Real Madrid, and now Juventus.
Gladly, the Rossoneri are back in the Champions League since the 2013-14 season. Throughout the last decade, it had been a bumpy ride for them, thankfully, no hiccups this time around – one of the most respected clubs in the world with an enriched history are back to the competition which they owned once upon a time.