Lazio were beaten 1-0 by Cagliari, meaning they end the campaign behind Roma and must win the Coppa Italia to reach Europe.
The Biancocelesti were torn between pushing all out to secure a top five finish in Serie A or preserve energy for next Sunday’s Coppa Italia Final with Roma. Hernanes, Stefan Radu and Bruno Pereirinha were unable to make the trip, so Antonio Candreva was trequartista behind Miroslav Klose and Libor Kozak.
Cagliari concluded the season in their temporary home of Trieste, though there is still utter confusion over where they’ll be playing their domestic games next season. There were big problems in defence, missing Francesco Pisano, Lorenzo Ariaudo, Dario Del Fabro, Nicola Murru and Gabriele Perico.
Federico Marchetti got down to palm a Thiago Ribeiro right-foot strike round the post, while Kozak nodded a Senad Lulic cross wide.
Lazio were caught napping at the back and Marchetti blocked Victor Ibarbo’s strike when he was allowed a clear shot on goal.
Vlada Avramov was given a rare start for the Sardinians and beat away a Candreva screamer, but in first half stoppages Danilo Avelar dribbled past defenders and surprised Marchetti to hit the crossbar.
Cagliari were again aggressive after the restart, as Abdoullay Konko cleared straight to Sebastian Eriksson, whose strike was deflected out for a corner.
Daniele Dessena eventually broke the deadlock with a towering header from Marco Sau’s free kick.
Lazio poured forward late on, but were unable to turn this around and finish the season in seventh place behind rivals Roma.