By Alasdair Mackenzie ROME, May 24 (Reuters) –
GATTUSO SAYS GOODBYE Napoli were the worst in the last day’s battle between three teams for two places in the Champions League.
Gennaro Gattuso’s side just needed to beat midtable Hellas Verona to keep the top spot in which they started the day. The form book suggested it was a formality, as Napoli had won three straight games, scoring 11 goals in the process, and the visitors were winless in eight games.
But the hosts were only able to set up a 1-1 draw, which put Juventus ahead of them in the standings with a 4-1 win in Bologna. Soon after, Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis announced that Gattuso was leaving.
“Dear Rino, I am happy to have spent almost two seasons with you. Thank you for your work and I wish you success wherever you go. A hug also to your wife and children, ”De Laurentiis wrote on Twitter. Gattuso took over from Carlo Ancelotti as Napoli coach in December 2019 and led the club to Coppa Italia in their debut season, before dropping a point in the top four this season.
PIRLO HOPES HE DID ENOUGH IN Bologna, Juventus players huddled by a pitchside monitor watching the closing minutes of Napoli’s game after their 4-1 win.
Confirmation of their Champions League qualification sparked celebrations from Juve’s players, but the feat will not be considered a success for a club that had won nine consecutive league titles prior to this season. But Andrea Pirlo, who was named without any coaching experience at the start of the campaign, was hoping he had done enough to stay after winning Coppa Italia, the Italian Super Cup and reaching the top four.
“I see myself 100% on the bench for Juventus next season, but it’s not me who decides,” Pirlo told DAZN. “Now we will enjoy the result we have achieved and in the next few days I will speak with the club.
“We struggled, we were scared, but at the end of the season, we understood the direction to take and we ended with a qualification for Coppa Italia and the Champions League. “Everything happened, it was a complicated year but I needed it to grow and improve.”
TEARFUL LUKAKU KEEPING THE PROMISE Romelu Lukaku scored his 30th goal of the season in all competitions as Inter Milan marked their Serie A title celebration day with a 5-1 victory over Udinese.
Players paraded Inter’s first league trophy in 11 years in front of thousands of fans outside of San Siro after the game, and a tearful Lukaku wore a t-shirt with a picture of his grandfathers – parents. “I didn’t want to cry today, to be honest. The photo is of my grandparents and I was thinking of them, ”Lukaku told DAZN.
“When my grandfather passed away in 2005, I promised him that I would win something, and I did. I’m proud of it.
(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)