UK Football

Juventus & Milan qualify for Champions League over Napoli

Juventus and Milan secured Champions League qualification over Napoli on a dramatic final day in Serie A.

Before their trip to Bologna, Andrea Pirlo’s side were outside the top four and were relying on either Napoli or Milan slipping up.

Juventus held up their end of the bargain, romping to an 4-1 victory with Alvaro Morata grabbing a brace. Milan also won, picking up an impressive 2-0 win over Atalanta thanks to a pair of penalties from Franck Kessie.

However, Napoli could not follow suit despite taking the lead against Hellas Verona through Amir Rrahmani on the hour mark. Just nine minutes later, Davide Faraoni equalised and despite their best efforts Gennaro Gattuso’s side could not find the winner.

This means that Milan will be returning to the Champions League for the first time since the 2013/14 campaign, while Juventus keep up their record of qualifying for the competition every year since 2012. Meanwhile, Napoli will once again be playing in the Europa League alongside Lazio, with Roma just pipping Sassuolo to a place in the Europa Conference League – which could see arriving manager Jose Mourinho reunite with former club Tottenham.

Franck Kessie, Hakan Calhanoglu, Davide Calabria
Milan are back in the big time | Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Although Juventus will be relieved to have got over the line, Pirlo’s future is still uncertain. His side have endured a poor season, relinquishing their stranglehold over Serie A by finishing 13 points behind winners Inter.

The future of the league’s Golden Boot winner, Cristiano Ronaldo, is also uncertain. There is growing support for the idea that Juventus function better without the forward but getting him off the wage bill could prove challenging.

Manchester United are one of the few clubs that could afford Ronaldo but it remains to be seen whether the rumours linking him with an Old Trafford return have any substance.

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