🇮🇹 Atalanta and Roma Europa bound; Spezia and Verona set for play-off | OneFootball

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Peter Fitzpatrick·4 June 2023

🇮🇹 Atalanta and Roma Europa bound; Spezia and Verona set for play-off

Article image:🇮🇹 Atalanta and Roma Europa bound; Spezia and Verona set for play-off

The final day of the Serie A season is upon us and there’s still the matter of the final relegation spot to decide, as well as who will qualify for the Europa League and Europa Conference League.

Follow all the action here.

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Roma vs Spezia

Scorers: Zalewski 43′, Dybala (pen) 90+1′; Nikolaou 6′

Spezia shocked the Stadio Olimpico when they took a 6th-minute lead courtesy of Dimitrios Nikolaou. The defender headed in his first-ever Serie A goal from close range after Mehdi Bourabia’s fierce shot reached him.

This shook Roma into action, however, they barely threatened the Spezia goal for much of the first half. 71% possession came but it was all slow and mostly in front of the opposition, who remained resolute in their quest to secure Serie A safety.

This changed in the 43rd minute. Nicola Zalewski’s dangerous inswinger cross from the left-hand side missed everyone and ended up in the net to level the score.

Paulo Dybala was the driving force for Roma in the second half and his shot which skimmed the post was the closest either side came to a goal.

Roma continued to push for a winner but could not create a proper opening as Spezia looked to hold out for a point that could keep them afloat in Serie A.

That man Dybala was the hero for Roma in the 91st minute, curling home a penalty into the top corner after Stephan El Shaaraway was brought down by Kelvin Almian, who received a second yellow and was dismissed.

14 minutes of injury time later, the win was confirmed for Jose Mourinho, but will he be around next season for another crack at the Europa League with I Giallorossi?

The late loss means that Spezia’s Serie A fate will be decided in a play-off match with Verona due to the two sides finishing on equal points.

Milan vs Verona

Scorers: Giroud 45+2′, Leao 85′, 90+2′; Faraoni 72′

In a game overshadowed by the announcement of Zlatan brahimović’s departure from Milan, the home side dominated all of the ball in the first half but had nothing to show for it until the second minute of added time.

Verona knew they had to better Spezia’s result at Roma to stay up and were more than happy to sit back and soak up pressure in an effort to gain a potentially pivotal point at the San Siro.

However, after a foul from Cyril Ngonge on Brahim Diaz inside the box and a subsequent VAR check, Olivier Giroud tucked away his 13th of the season from 12 yards out and left Verona in a world of trouble heading into the second half.

Ngonge came close to redeeming himself early into the second half when following several Milan errors, he found himself bearing down on goal. Only the intervention of Mike Maignan stopped the striker from reigniting Verona’s survival bid.

That survival bid was alive and kicking when, following some more haphazard Milan defending, Marco Davide Faraoni nodded home Darko Lazovic’s header to level things with 18 minutes to go.

Rafael Leão put Milan back in front in the 85th minute, celebrating his new contract in style and with Ibra on the touchline.

The Portuguese forward grabbed another deep into injury time, starting the move in his own half and finishing it himself after dummying the Verona keeper.

A relegation play-off awaits Verona, who can be thankful for Paulo Dybala’s late winner in Rome.

Udinese vs Juventus

Scorers: Chiesa 68′

Juventus knew they needed big favours from Monza and Spezia for them to sneak into the Europa League next season (that 15-point deduction really being shown here), but also required a win at Udinese themselves.

The first half came and went with little action at either end as both teams struggled to assert themselves.

Juve stepped things up after the break and could have had a penalty for a handball from Carlos Augusto but the referee waved it away.

Their efforts were rewarded in the 68th minute with a brilliant goal from Federico Chiesa, who gathered the ball from Manuel Locatelli before taking a touch, turning and firing home from 14 yards out. As things stood, that goal put Juve into 6th place ahead of Roma.

That was that but despite winning themselves, results elsewhere consigned Juve to the Conference League.

Atalanta vs Monza

Scorers: Koopmeiners 12′, 45+1′, 79′, Hojlund 74′, Muriel 90+2′; Colpani 51′, Petagna 81′

Atalanta took the lead in the 12th minute when Teun Koopmeiners fired home his 8th league goal of the campaign. A win here would ensure Europa League football for La Dea.

It was double Dutch in the first minute of added time as Koopmeiners netted again to near-rubber stamp their passage to Europe.

Monza got themselves back into the game early into the second half with a goal from Andrea Colpani. The attacking midfielder finished off a series of one-touch passes with a neat left-footed finish.

Two red cards came in quick succession in the final third of the match as Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini and Monza’s Marlon were dismissed.

Atalanta restored their two-goal lead with 16 minutes left on the clock as Koopmeiners turned from scorer to assister, teeing up Ramus Hojlund for an easy finish from six yards out. Could this be the Dane’s final game before a big-money switch to Manchester United?

Koopmeiners completed his hat-trick in the 79th minute, as his “cross” looped into the Monza net. What a night for the midfielder!

Monza pulled another back two minutes later, Andrea Petagna dinking Atalanta keeper Marco Sportiello after some neat work in the build up.

Atalanta closed out their season in style with a fifth right at the death through veteran striker Luis Muriel.

Their place in the Europa League for next season was confirmed.