AC Milan, Napoli and Juventus were involved in a three-way battle for the final two Champions League berths for Italian clubs.
The Serie A 2020/21 campaign wrapped up this weekend, confirming the highly anticipated Champions League spots. Inter Milan already won the Serie A but there was still much at stake in the final gameweek. The focus was on AC Milan, Napoli and Juventus, all of whom wanted a top-4 finish. This in turn would see them qualify for the UEFA Champions League next season.
Initially, only Scudetto winner Inter and second-placed Atalanta earned themselves a guaranteed spot in the Champions League. Milan, Napoli and Juventus were desperately looking to book one of the two remaining slots.
Juventus needed some good fortune and somehow got it, winning that fourth spot by just a point.
Juventus entered the final game outside the top 4, but thanks to Napoli’s draw Juventus finished the day in the top four to qualify for next season’s Champions League. Juve needed to accumulate more points than Napoli on the final matchday and did just that. Juve beat Bologna 4-1 meanwhile Napoli coughed up their lead and drew against Verona.
Cristiano Ronaldo was benched for the entire match, but two goals from Alvaro Morata proved to be the difference in the win. Juventus scored twice in the first 30 minutes and the result was never in doubt.
As for Napoli, they took a 1-0 lead 60 minutes in through Amir Rrahmani, but Verona responded nine minutes later to ruin their hopes for Champions League qualification. Napoli had 16 shots, double that of Verona, but only two of them were on target.
Meanwhile, AC Milan secured a long-awaited return to the Champions League on Sunday as two Franck Kessie penalties earned a 2-0 win over Atalanta to seal a second-place finish on the final day of the Serie A season.
The victory saw Milan climb one point above Atalanta in the standings to 79 points behind champions Inter Milan.
Milan led the Serie A standings until mid-February, but a subsequent dip in form left them at risk of falling out of the top-four on the final day if they failed to win.
The victory meant the seven-time European champions will feature in the Champions League for the first time since 2013-14 next season.