Parma win final Europa League spot in Serie A
Posted on May 19 2014 | IANS
Rome, May 19 : Parma grabbed the last UEFA Europa League spot in Serie A after they beat Livorno on a dramatic final day of the campaign, Xinhua reported.
Parma headed into the game needing to move a spot up from their seventh position at the table in order to secure the qualification for next season's UEFA Europa League.
Thanks to a second-half brace from Amauri, Parma beat Livorno 2-0. And they also had Fiorentina to thank as the Viola held Torino to 2-2 draw and ensured that Parma replaced Torino to finish sixth.
On a day packed with twists and turns, Torino's hopes looked to have been dashed when Ante Rebic put Fiorentina 2-1 up with 11 minutes remaining.
However, Jasmin Kurtic equalised five minutes later before their star striker Alessio Cerci's penalty saved by Fiorentina goalkeeper Antonio Rosati at injury time.
Parma's triumph left AC Milan's home 2-1 win over Sassuolo irrelevant.
Sulley Muntari and Nigel de Jong scored for Milan, who saw Philippe Mexes and Mattia de Sciglio and the visitors' Paolo Cannavaro dispelled in the second half.
Juventus finished their third successive title-winning campaign in style with a 3-0 victory over Cagliari.
An Andrea Pirlo free-kick hit the crossbar deflected into the net off Cagliari goalkeeper Marco Silvestri in the eighth minute, before Fernando Llorente and Claudio Marchisio scored apiece to award the home side the win.
Juve became the first team to win all their home matches in a Serie A season, while also breaking the 100-point barrier with 102 points.
Juve head coach Antonio Conte said his side will be remembered for their historical achievement.
"In all honesty, I didn't think we could reach 102 points. Our objective was to achieve a third consecutive Scudetto, which was history and always our primary target that we focused on," he said.
"Once we achieved that, we tried to reach this famous figure that seems incredible. The players were special with three straight titles and a record of points, but they surpassed themselves because 102 points will be very tough to beat," he said.
"I will never stop thanking them. I tried to pull them to the end, but it wasn't hard to get them going really. I continually thank them, as over three years they have been incredible," he said.
"At times people forget that victory is an exception, not normality. They were exceptional, the staff, club and fans also," he added.
Roma lost to Genoa 1-0 to put an end to their season while third-placed Napoli hammered Verona 5-1 with Duvan Zapata and Dries Mertens weighing in with a brace each.
Victor Obinna scored twice against his former club Inter and secured a 2-1 win for Chievo.