The names of the Italian clubs which will participate in the next Champions League are now known. AC and Inter Milan, Naples and Juventus Turin: the first four in Serie A, all winners on the 35th day, ensured their qualification in C1 this weekend. However, the suspense remains intact in the race for the title.
Only AS Rome could still play the spoilsports in this race for the C1 in the event of victory in the evening on Sunday. But at the Stadio Olimpico, the formation of José Mourinho was unable to break through the defense of Bologna (0-0), annihilating his last dreams of Champion’s League.
Juve struggled against the Red Lantern
Naples (3rd) opened the ball by crushing Sassuolo 6-1 on Saturday at the Diego Armando Maradona stadium. Juve and the two Milanese clubs imitated it by winning on Sunday, in a less flamboyant way. At the start of the afternoon, Juve (4th) thus struggled to overcome (2-1) the red lantern, Venice, in Turin. The “Old Lady”, despite the laborious aspect of her victory, is quite dashing at the end of the season, with only one setback in the last nine days.
AC Milan continued on this busy Sunday by signing an equally laborious victory (1-0) over Fiorentina at the San Siro stadium. On their way to their third goalless draw in their last five meetings, the Rossoneri were delivered by a powerful strike from Rafael Leao in the 82nd minute.
Finally Inter, the defending champion, went to beat Udinese in Friuli. Pussetto, by taking a free kick from Deulofeu in the 72nd minute and deflected by Turin goalkeeper Handanovic, brought his club to 2-1, giving Inter a somewhat painful end to the game.
The expected title in Milan
If everything is now settled for the qualifications in C1, the question now is who will win the title of Italian champion. AC Milan (77 points) and Inter are indeed separated only by two points with three rounds remaining. Interists can still reasonably cherish the hope of retaining their title. First opportunity for them to return to the Rossoneri: from the penultimate day next weekend, during which Inter will receive Empoli (14th) on Friday, before AC Milan’s trip to Hellas Verona on Sunday evening (9th).
The title no longer seems to have to escape one of the two giants of Milan, even if Naples and Juventus are mathematically still in the race, respectively seven and eight points from the leader.