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Atalanta Ending Roma’s UCL Hopes

Gasperini at Atalanta
© Ace Football

Atalanta followed up its Europa League title with a decisive 3-0 win over Torino in Serie A on Sunday, ending Roma’s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League.

Gianluca Scamacca and Ademola Lookman scored first-half goals, with Mario Pasalic adding a penalty after the break. This victory moved Atalanta to fourth place, one point ahead of Bologna.

Lookman, fresh off a hat trick in Atalanta’s 3-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League final, continued his impressive form. The Europa League trophy was proudly displayed on the sideline before kickoff.

Sixth-place Roma, which later lost 2-1 at Empoli, needed Atalanta to finish fifth to qualify for the Champions League. Despite the loss, Roma’s fate was sealed by Atalanta’s triumph.

It’s the final round of the Italian league, but Atalanta still has a game to make up against Fiorentina next Sunday. Scamacca scored first after a setup by Charles De Ketelaere, then Lookman tapped in a rebound following another setup from De Ketelaere. Midway through the second half, Lookman was fouled, leading to Pasalic’s penalty goal.

After the match, Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini announced his intention to stay with the club, ending speculation about a potential move to Napoli. “I am tied to Atalanta and will continue to be,” Gasperini affirmed. “I am faithful.”

Defending champion Napoli was held to a 0-0 draw at home by Lecce, finishing 10th and missing out on European competitions. Torino is ninth and can still qualify for the Europa Conference League if Fiorentina wins the third-tier European trophy on Wednesday.

On the final day, three teams fought to avoid relegation. Udinese and Empoli stayed up while Frosinone went down. Empoli needed a win and secured it with goals from Matteo Cancellieri and M’Baye Niang, despite Houssem Aouar’s equalizer for Roma. Udinese’s late goal from Keinan Davis ensured their safety, fulfilling coach Fabio Cannavaro’s mission since being hired last month. Udinese has been in the top division uninterrupted since 1995.

Additionally, Italian champion Inter Milan was held 2-2 at Hellas Verona, and Lazio drew 1-1 with already-relegated Sassuolo. Before kickoff at the Stadio Olimpico, former Lazio coach Sven-Goran Eriksson, who revealed in January that he has cancer, was honored for his contributions to the club. Eriksson coached Lazio to the Serie A title in 1999-2000.